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CLL Life

by Anonymous

11 August 2011 at 12:28

Possible breakthrough, update

I blogged yestersay, giving the info and paper on the new gene therapy/immunotherapy results in a small overseas trial. This may of course have applications in other cancers not just leukaemias. As a young CLL patient, watching the horizon for possible advances to allow effective treatment, I do find this all exciting. There is other work underway in this area. It was only last week that I was reading the Israeli 40 year study of CLL, this pointed out that statistics overal for diagnosis and survival had not really altered with all the advances over this time. That the encouraging work in immunotherapy, requires assesment in time and the clinical setting.
ABC world news gave this TV report also yesterday. OK the headline banner may be over exuberant but the report is balanced. Apparently they are saying that a genetically modified version of the HIV virus is injected into Patients T cells and then reintroduced back into their body. The American cancer society point out that the quality of remission needs to be assessed over time, and that the long term effect of these new cells also need to be monitored as they hang around for a while and may themselves cause damage? Still very encouraging. Who knows? I'm sure Professor Hamblin and the other Gurus will be publishing their take over the next few days , watch this space,
An experienced overseas patient advocate for greater drug availability has a more pessimistic view. Remarking that if this does prove to be a successful strategy and can be developed into treatment it will take a considerable amount of time.  For this to be taken up in the UK will require further development and time in assessment within trials, then consideration for approval. It may not prove to be a "silver bullet", but may lead on to much more specific therapy/intervention. It will be interesting to find out what is underway here in the UK within research in this area.
"this drug strategy attacks healthy B-cells just like Rituximab does. Thus, it will/may have some pretty serious downsides. Maybe/maybe not it will be as successful as Rituximab has been. tough to say with only 3 patients tested. I believe I am alive today only because of Rituximab. thus, lets get it developed ASAP if indeed it is this great and safe at the same time.

What is exciting way way way down the road is that this same technology maybe/possibly/hopefully can be used to attack specific cancerous targets that are specific to the cancerous B-cell and not the healthy B-cell. Pretty neat stuff but years from being around I'm afraid. I guess from that perspective it justifies some news coverage. Thus, yes, reason to be optimistic towards the future. How I wish this as so many of the other new stuff could become available sooner. Especially for those with no time left".

Tagged with: leukaemia , CLL

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