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Clinical trial to test safety of drug targeting leukemia cells
Date:9/3/2014

incipal investigator, and Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, co-principal investigator to develop six distinct therapies against cancer stem cells. Kipps led one of the six projects to generate antibodies against ROR1, leading to the cirmtuzumab trial in patients with CLL.

"The primary goal of this phase I clinical trial is to evaluate whether cirmtuzumab is a safe and well-tolerated cancer stem cell-targeted agent in patients with CLL," said Jamieson, chief of the Division of Regenerative Medicine, associate professor of medicine, director of stem cell research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, deputy director of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center and the principal investigator of the cirmtuzumab clinical trial.

Michael Choi, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine and co-principal investigator of the clinical trial, said,"The trial will involve 33 to 78 patients with relapsed or refractory CLL, who will receive an intravenous infusion every 14 days at Moores, followed by regular monitoring and clinic visits to assess efficacy and identify and manage any adverse effects. Initial treatment is planned for two months."

Kipps suggested that drugs like cirmtuzumab, if ultimately shown to be effective, could lead to a new type of anti-cancer therapy. "Every drug has limits. Usually anti-cancer drugs cannot cure cancer. Even after achieving a good response to anti-cancer drugs, the cancer can come back and spread to other parts of the body," he said.

"This is thought to be due to cancer stem cells, which are relatively resistant to our current anti-cancer drugs. Because cancer stem cells may require ROR1 for their growth, survival and movement through the body, targeting ROR1 could be a way to eradicate the seeds of the cancer that are responsible for metastasis or relapse after other forms of treatment.

"I see cirmtuzumab as perhaps also synergizing with other forms of treatment to provide for more effective anti-ca
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Contact: Scott LaFee
slafee@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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