You may have seen it on the news last night. Renowned LLS researcher, Dr. Carl June M.D. (University of Pennsylvania), released the results of his phase one clinical trial with three chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and they are very encouraging. The study demonstrated that gene therapy could be used to create T-cells that can kill cancer cells. Two of the three patients in the trial experienced full remission and one experienced partial remission. While it’s still early in the process, these findings provide hope for blood cancer patients.
Gene therapy involves modifying a patient’s own cells to attack just cells with a certain protein (the cancer cells). In this case, the modified killer cells are attracted to a bad guy called CD19. When the modified killer cells kill the bad guys, they also trigger the creation of more killer cells, effectively building a bigger and bigger army to wipe out the bad guys.
Your support of LLS has given Dr. June’s team the opportunity to pursue this very innovative approach to treating patients. LLS has helped fund Dr. June’s work in a variety of capacities since 1998. The total investment to Dr. June and all of the members of his team totals nearly $15 million.
This research lays some solid foundation work for a roadmap to creating a world without cancer. Thank you!
For the complete press release covering this breakthrough, visit http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2011/08/t-cells/.