New Findings at American Society of Hematology

Researchers funded by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) presented exciting new findings at the annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference in New Orleans earlier this month. Highlights presented by LLS-funded research teams included some promising advances in targeted therapies for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients.

One early clinical trial showed encouraging results for a novel antibody-like drug called TRU-016 which targets a molecule in CLL cells. The drug may prove to be an effective treatment for patients with relapsed or refractory disease.

A Phase II trial showed that Arzerra® (Ofatumumab), an antibody drug recently approved by the FDA, can have good activity in patients with previously untreated CLL when combined with the chemotherapy drugs fludarabine and cyclophosphamide.

And an early phase trial showed that a novel treatment called ISF35 stimulates a CLL patient's immune system to act against leukemia cells, sensitizing them to subsequent treatment with chemotherapy. CLL cases that carry a particular chromosome deletion (17p) are unlikely to respond to standard treatment but responded to courses of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab (FCR) after receiving ISF35, with durable remissions. This trial is a joint venture of Memgen and LLS, as part of LLS's Therapy Acceleration Program.

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