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Blood Cancer Awareness Month: 2021 Immunotherapy Research Updates

September 01, 2021

Immunotherapy for leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma is developing rapidly with several treatment options approved in the last year. In July, the FDA approved the monoclonal antibody daratumumab (Darzalex) in combination with other drugs for a subset of adult patients with multiple myeloma; in April, the antibody-drug conjugate loncastuximab (Zynlonta) for large B cell lymphoma; in March, the cell therapy idecabtagene vicleucel (Abecma) and monoclonal antibody isatuximab (Sarclisa) for multiple myeloma; and in February, the cell therapy lisocabtagene maraleucel (Breyanzi) for large B cell lymphoma.

This September for Blood Cancer Awareness Month, discover new research, treatments, and how CRI is making strides for a future immune to leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

Ask Your Immunotherapy Questions

Join Dr. Hearn Jay Cho of the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai at the 2021 Virtual Immunotherapy Patient Summit on October 7–8, 2021, in a live discussion about cancer immunotherapy options for blood cancers. This free event connects you with cancer patients and leading oncologists from the comfort of home.

Register for the virtual summit

Treatment Update for Blood Cancers

At the 2020 CRI Virtual Immunotherapy Patient Summit, CRI Scientific Advisory Council member Dr. Philip Greenberg of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shared an overview of the future of immunotherapy research for blood cancer. Dr. Greenberg also spoke about available immunotherapies, including cell-based therapy, targeted cancer therapy, and checkpoint inhibitors.

Blood Cancer Patient Story

Milton was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at only 8 years old. After his cancer recurred two times again, he enrolled in a CAR T cell therapy clinical trial. His treatment was successful and has been in remission ever since.

Read Milton’s Leukemia story

Blood Cancer Scientist Spotlight

CRI Fellow Yimeng Zhu, Ph.D., of Columbia University is researching chromosomal translocations present in leukemia and lymphoma, with a focus on a holoenzyme called DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), which can bind both DNA and RNA. Her localized research will give insight into the activity of DNA-PK and its interaction with DNA and RNA, leading to how this contributes to the progression of leukemia and lymphoma.

Learn more about Dr. Zhu’s Blood Cancer Research

Immunotherapy for Blood Cancers Info Update

With five approvals for immunotherapies in 2021 so far, the field is expanding rapidly. As the research and treatment landscape evolves, we keep our information up to date.

View Blood Cancer Update

Find a Blood Cancer Clinical Trial

A variety of new and promising cancer immunotherapy treatments are only available to patients in clinical trials. Help speed the development of potentially lifesaving drugs. Discover trials for which you or a loved one may be eligible with the CRI Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Finder.

Find a Cancer Clinical Trial 

Support Blood Cancer Research

 CRI Fellow Nathan H. Roy of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia co-authored a study in Nature Medicine on the composite outcomes of two pilot clinical trials of T cells bearing a 4-1BB-based, CD22-targeting CAR in patients with relapsed or refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia. The research team found tonic 4-1BB-based signaling is beneficial to CAR function and demonstrated the utility of bedside-to-bench-to-bedside translation in the design and implementation of CAR T cell therapies. This Blood Cancer Awareness Month, support lifesaving cancer immunotherapy research.

Donate to Blood Cancer Research

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*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.

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