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Advances in Blood Cancer Therapy to be Highlighted at American Society of Hematology Conference
Date:12/5/2007

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Researchers funded by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will present exciting new directions in blood cancer research at the annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference this week at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Especially noteworthy are new findings in immunotherapies, personalized medicine and targeting transcription factors.

Immunotherapies: Researchers will discuss the current status of anti- cancer vaccines for patients with B-cell lymphoma; results of early clinical trials on adoptive T-cell immunotherapies for B-cell malignancies; new understanding of how immune cells known as natural killer (NK) cells can eliminate cancer cells; and the emerging role of NK cells in stem cell transplantation.

-- Vaccines for Lymphomas: Idiotype Vaccines and Beyond, Larry Kwak, M.D.,

Ph.D., The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston,

(Saturday, Dec. 8, 9:30 a.m.).

-- Engineering Antitumor Immunity by T-cell Adoptive Immunotherapy,

Stanley Riddell, M.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center,

Seattle, WA, (Dec. 8, 9:30 a.m.).

-- Human Natural Killer Cell Biology, Michael Caligiuri, M.D., The Ohio

State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, (Sunday,

Dec. 9, 7:30 a.m.).

-- The Role of Natural Killer Cells in Haploidentical Hematopoietic

Transplantation, Andrea Velardi, M.D., University of Perugia, Italy,

(Dec. 9, 7:30 a.m.).

Targeting transcription factors: Transcription factors are proteins that control gene expression. Abnormalities in transcription factor activity are among the most common causes of myeloid and lymphocytic leukemias and are good targets for new drug development.

-- Targeting RUNX1 in Leukemia, John H. Bushweller, Ph.D., University of

Virginia, Charlottesville; Targeting MLL Fusion Genes in Leukemia,

Michael Thirman, M.D., University of Chicago. (Same session: Dec. 8,

2 p.m., and Dec. 9, 7:30 a.m.).

Personalized medicine: Society-funded researchers are developing new tests to distinguish biological traits (biomarkers) in cancers to identify patients who are most likely to benefit from a particular treatment and enable doctors to personalize treatment.

-- Deoxycytidine Kinase Genotype Includes Leukemia Cell Concentration of

Cytarabine 5-Triphosphate in Pediatric AML Patients, Varsha Gandhi,

Ph.D., M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, (Monday, Dec. 10, 8 a.m.).

-- Comprehensive Biomarker and Genomic Analysis Identifies p53 Status as

Major Determinant of Response to MDM2 Inhibitors in Chronic Lymphocytic

Leukemia, Shaomeng Wang, Ph.D., University of Michigan, (Dec. 10, 7:45

a.m.).

-- IgVH Mutational Status Does Not Affect Complete Remission Rate But Is

Associated with Reduced Remission Duration in CLL Patients Treated with

Fludarabine, Cyclophosphamide and Rituximab (FCR)-based Therapy, Thomas

Kipps, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, (Tuesday,

Dec. 11, 8 a.m.).

Prior to the start of ASH, the Society will host this year's Marshall A. Lichtman Research Symposium, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia as a Model of Translational Research, on Friday, Dec. 7, 7 a.m., at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta. The program will feature several Society-funded researchers discussing all aspects of CLL, from causes to novel treatments.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, headquartered in White Plains, NY, with 68 chapters in the United States and Canada, is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. The Society's mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, the Society has invested more than $550 million in research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Last year alone, the Society made 5.1 million contacts with patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

For more information about blood cancer, visit http://www.LLS.org or call the Society's Information Resource Center (IRC), a call center staffed by master's level social workers, nurses and health educators who provide information, support and resources to patients and their families and caregivers. IRC information specialists are available at (800) 955-4572.

Contact: Andrea Greif

(914)821-8958, andrea.greif@lls.org


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SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
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