Genentech and Pharmacyclics receive approval for drugs to treat hematologic malignancies

For the last couple years, the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center CLL program under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Kipps has been at the forefront of leading clinical trials for the use of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) and obinutuzumab (Gazyva) for patients with CLL.  We are happy to announce that both iburtinub and obinutuzumab have been approved for treatment.  Both drugs are considered “breakthrough therapies” under a program established by Congress last year.  The new Breakthrough Therapy Designation indicates that the medicines may offer substantial improvement over standard treatments for patients with serious or life-threatening diseases.  Both drugs demonstrate a shift  for treatments away from chemotherapy.

Gazyva is an antibody that binds to CD20 a protein found on the surface of B cells and causes the cells, which are cancerous to die.  It is the the first breakthrough monoclonal antibody drug to win FDA approval and will be used to treat patients with CLL who have not been previously treated.  It will be used in combination with chlorambucil to attack cancerous cells.  Patients who participated in the trial demonstrated a significant improvement in progression-free survival with an average of 23 months.  Gazyva is being approved with a boxed warning regarding Hepatitis B virus reactivation and a rare disorder that damages the material that covers and protects nerves in the white matter of the brain (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy). These are known risks with other monoclonal antibodies in this class and rare cases were identified in participants on other trials of Gazyva. Patients should be advised of these risks and assessed for Hepatitis B virus and reactivation risk.

Imbruvica was approved for breakthrough treatment for relapses of mantle cell lymphoma and has also recently been applied for approval to treat CLL.  It is an oral treatment and its approval was based the response rates of 111 patients.  65 percent of patients who received Imbruvica had a complete or partial response.  Pharmacyclics officials said the label contained no black box warnings and no contraindications. Safety data during the drug’s pivotal trial showed the most common Grade 3 or 4 nonhematological adverse reactions (≥ 5 percent) included pneumonia, abdominal pain, atrial fibrillation, diarrhea, fatigue and skin infection

Raising the Bar

Have you seen the new Jacob’s Medical Center building being built just across from the Moores Cancer Center? To read more about the project and the incredible commitment to creating a healthier world, CLICK HERE!

The $839 million facility is part of a multi-billion dollar university investment in the future of health care for the entire region. It will allow UC San Diego Health System to fulfill its potential of becoming one of the country’s premier academic health systems.

Thomas Kipps One of Four Recipients of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Award

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has awarded Thomas J. Kipps, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with a 5-year, $6.25 million Specialized Center of Research program grant to support research on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common adult leukemia in the United States.  Read More…

Monoclonal Antibodies Could Add Power to CLL Treatment

Andrew Schorr from Patient Power in partnership with the CLL Global Research Foundation interview Dr. Thomas Kipps, Director of the Blood Cancer Research Fund and the CLL Research Consortium about the use of rituximab, a monoclonal antibody used to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Clink here to watch the video now!

Stopping the Spread of Cancer

Stopping cancer’s spread: New protein found to control deadly cancer metastasis

Researchers have found a critical element that may explain why some cancers spread farther and faster than others, a discovery that could lead to one of the Holy Grails of cancer treatment: containing the disease.

Scientists from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Thomas J. Kipps and colleagues,  have identified a protein that seems to serve as a switch, regulating the spread of cancer from the primary tumor to distant spots in the body – a process known as metastasis.  The protein is used by embryo cells during early development, but then disappears from the body after an individual comes out of the womb.

Read more- Fox News Report: Dr. Kipps

ROR1 Antibody

Ibrutinib, a potential breakthrough in treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

(TIME.com) — It’s called ibrutinib, and it’s a potential breakthrough in treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that could leave patients with fewer side effects than chemotherapy.   

 

Read the story from CNN:  Ibrutinib new hope for CLL Treatment

 

Power of Positive Thinking

Stay Positive!  Several questions about the power of a positive outlook have come into us here at the BCRF.  While we are not psychologist there are volumes of information and research into the importance of positive attitudes!  Click on the links below for just some of the information that is out there:

“The day is what you make it! So why not make it a great one?” ~ Steve Schulte

Can you make the train go in either direction? Try it! It is possible to make it go away and towards you!