Many of you might have seen the extensive national media coverage of the encouraging results of studies conducted by one of our renowned grant recipients, Carl June, MD, of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The studies, published in The New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine, demonstrate the use of gene transfer therapy to create T-cells that can kill cancer cells. The papers reported that two patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia achieved full remission and one achieved partial remission through this therapy.
While these are indeed exciting findings, we should bear in mind that these are very preliminary results – this was a Phase I trial involving only three patients. But we should all keep our fingers crossed that these results will continue with the Phase II trial!
LLS has played a vital role in advancing the critical work of Dr. June and all of the members of his team with an investment totaling nearly $15 million. LLS has funded Dr. June in various capacities since 1998, and other members of his team began receiving LLS funding as far back as 1992. Our funding has afforded June’s team the opportunity to pursue this innovative approach to treating patients with blood cancers.
This is exciting news on a national level, but even just here in Hawaii the funds we are raising are making a difference! A researcher in Hawaii has recently been approved for a $500,000 grant over a 5 year period. This is exciting news for our local chapter – we raise enough to help fund this important research and as you can see, new studies and treatments are being developed all the time. Techniques developed in Leukemia research frequently are used for treating other types of cancers as well.
So you are making a difference! MAHALO!!! =)