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Blood Cancer Awareness Month: 2019 Immunotherapy Research Update

September 20, 2019

According to the latest report from the National Cancer Institute, the mortality rate for leukemia and lymphoma in both men and women decreased significantly in the last four years. Among the many factors for this decrease are new immunotherapies available to patients, several now FDA-approved and part of standard-of-care. During Blood Cancer Awareness Month, it’s time to celebrate how far we’ve come, push to bring these innovative treatments to more patients, and help save more lives. With each new development from the lab to the clinic, we come closer to unlocking an answer to cancer

Childhood Cancer Treatment and Research News

We spoke with Susanne Baumeister, M.D., a pediatric oncologist at Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, about recent developments in research and treatment. She discusses healthy vs. unhealthy blood cells, ongoing clinical trials, and why new cell therapies show promise for this set of diseases

Read interview with Dr. Susanne Baumeister

Growing Up with Blood Cancer

In 2006, Chris and Denise learned their two-year-old son, Cole, had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Last year, he was one of the first pediatric patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children’s Hospital to receive CAR T cell therapy. We spoke to Cole and Denise about a childhood in and out of hospitals, exploring treatment options, advocating for immunotherapy, and sharing their story.

Read interview with Cole and Denise

What's Next in CAR T Cell Therapy?

In a new webinar for patients and caregivers, Michel Sadelain, M.D., Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses CAR T cell immunotherapy, an approach he helped pioneer. By taking patients’ own immune cells and equipping them with chimeric antigen receptors that enhance their ability to target and eliminate cancer cells, CAR T cells have already provided immense benefits for patients with leukemia and lymphoma.

Watch CAR T cell therapy webinar

Read CAR T cell therapy webinar recap

Blood Cancer Survivor Story

Kristin Kleinhofer chose hope. After a recurrence of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, she enrolled in phase one clinical trial of CAR T therapy, a technique in which her immune cells were extracted, altered and then re-infused into her bloodstream so that her own immune system could fight the cancer. She was one of the first patients to receive this therapy in an outpatient setting and was among the 93% of patients in the trial that achieved remission.

Learn more about Kristin's Fight with Leukemia

Blood Cancer Scientist Spolight Researcher

Patients with blood cancers, especially those taking immunosuppressive drugs after stem cell transplants, are at increased risk of infection from food-borne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes. CRI-funded scientist Simone Becattini, Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is examining how the immune system responds to Listeria monocytogenes under various conditions and supplementing preclinical data with patient data. These insights may enable doctors to identify patients who might be at increased risk, and lead to novel approaches to prevent and treat infections.

Learn more about Dr. Becattini's research

Immunotherapy Information for Blood Cancer Updated

There are currently 18 approved immunotherapy options for leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Discover the different proteins, pathways, and platforms that scientists and physicians are pursuing to develop new treatments for blood cancers.

VIEW IMMUNOTHERAPY FOR Leukemia WEBPAGE

VIEW IMMUNOTHERAPY FOR Lymphoma WEBPAGE

VIEW IMMUNOTHERAPY FOR Multiple Myeloma WEBPAGE

Find a Blood Cancer Clinical Trial

Your best treatment option may be in a clinical trial. Our Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Finder can aid you in finding immunotherapy clinical trial options for leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma. Understand the basics of clinical trials, what things to consider about enrolling, access cutting-edge treatments, and help the next generation of doctors and patients.

Find a Blood Cancer Clinical Trial

Support Blood Cancer Research

Irving Bernstein, M.D., a CRI postdoctoral fellow from 1972-1974, developed the first toxin-linked monoclonal antibody targeted toward CD33 on leukemic blasts for acute myeloid leukemia. This year, Oscar A. Aguilar, Ph.D., a CRI postdoctoral fellow at University of California, San Francisco, is working to establish a mouse model that more accurately reflects human CD16-dependent natural killer cell function to provide insights on how to more effectively utilize these cells in the treatment of cancer. Join us in making blood cancer history.

Donate to blood cancer research

Be in the know with the latest immunotherapy news

*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.

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