Leukemia-CLL Research Projects
MOON SHOTS PROGRAM
Innovation in Therapy
MD Anderson scientists and physicians have been at the forefront in every major advance against CLL in the last 25 years. Our team developed the current standard-of-care therapy, which might cure up to one-third of CLL patients.
Even so, chemotherapy side effects remain hard on patients and raise their risk of developing second cancers down the line. The Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Moon Shot™ team is studying more promising treatments for CLL and leading a crucial shift from cytotoxic chemotherapy to well-tolerated oral therapies.
Our drug development flagship project seeks to overcome the limitations of ibrutinib, which is effective for a subset of CLL patients but not for all, and to develop rationales for combination therapies that will induce long-term responses in more patients with fewer and less harsh side effects than chemotherapy. At this time, we’re looking at several next-generation agents and novel drug combinations/sequences that would deepen the remission and result in a cure.
We’re also using the immune system to hunt down remaining CLL cells and destroy them. This immunotherapy involves extracting some of a patient’s own T cells and training them to recognize and kill only Leukemia cells. This precise targeting makes immunotherapies far safer than the traditional transplant.
At a deeper level, our new genetics flagship will explore non-coding RNA and microRNA to identify markers for CLL patients at risk of progressing to Richter’s Transformation, an aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma that is typically resistant to therapy and associated with poorer prognosis.
support will help us push this disease farther on the road to
STORIES OF HOPE
Postcards from paradise
More than 10 years after his first treatment for CLL at MD Anderson, Vittorio Alliata di Montereale is competing in triathlons and enjoying the good life in Hawaii with his wife and five children.
Non-chemotherapy based approaches to CLL
Learn about our latest research and the newest drugs we’re testing in CLL clinical trials at MD Anderson.