|News and Updates from Dr. Margolis
As many of you know, Sam had a leukemia that relapsed and
he then had a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT). One of the
major obstacles to doing a BMT is graft versus host disease.
This is the immune response that can occur between the
patient and their new immune system. As Sam had
complications from graft versus host disease (GVHD) as well
as infections, I have always tried to utilize funds from the
HOOT events to try to reduce graft versus host disease as
well as infections. Currently, our Lymphocyte Propagation
Laboratory (cell farming lab) is utilizing funds from the
HOOT Fund to develop immune cells that can fight against a
number of infections that frequently occur after a BMT or
when someone has GVHD Our hope is that in the next year
we willl be able to collaborate with our colleages from the
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City to
run a clinical trial utilizing these infection fighting cells after T-
cell depleted (strategy to decrease GVHD) Blood and Bone
Update from Dr. Dave 1/15/09
Thanks to everyone for your continued support of our
research program. Some of the Sam Memorial funds have
been recently utilized to purchase a second cell processing
machine. This rather expensive piece of equipment is a
cornerstone for our clinical research program because it
allows us to manipulate a blood stem cell product in order to
remove certain types of cells. Our clinical and basic science
research program is focussed on providing all patients with
cancer and blood diseases the opportunity to receive a safe
and effective hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC=blood stem
cell that can come from the bone marrow, peripheral blood or
cord blood) transplant if they need one. We plan to couple
the cell purification provided by this machine with the cells
we have been trying to grow in the laboratory in order to
have transplants that do not cause severe graft versus host
disease but do allow one to fight against infections and
cancer. Having the Sam Fund available has allowed us to
jump-start this research so THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
Dr. Dave aka Sam's Doctor
Thanks to everyone, once again, for your continued support
of our research program. Over the past year, our research
lab has published our experience using small proteins
(peptides) to make immune cells to fight off viruses after a
bone marrow transplant. The fact that this data has been
published in the medical literature is evidence that our
approach is an advancement of the field. Our next steps are
to turn that basic research into a clinical trial. This will
require us to buy very expensive “clinical grade” peptides
which the FDA will allow us to use for cells that will go into
patients. The “Sam Memorial Funds” are very helpful to us
to continue the translation of our basic research into the
clinic. In addition to that project, we will be using the “Sam
Memorial Funds” to pilot a new transplant protocol for
patients with leukemia. Our new BMT doctor, Dr. Monica
Thakar, has interest in trying to utilize Natural-Killer (NK)
cells to help fight cancer. These immune cells may be helpful
in fighting leukemia and other cancers. Therefore, we will be
using the cell processing machine that we bought back in
2009 and having it “enrich” for Natural Killer cells. Sam
Memorial Funds allow us to do these studies quickly, which
will allow us to take the transplant study into the clinic very
soon. So, in summary, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your
continued support and we continue to utilize the Sam
Memorial Funds with a goal of helping patients with leukemia
and other cancers survive.
Click to read letter from Dr. Dave
Hi. Wanted to give you guys an exciting HOOT
So the preliminary work that we have used HOOT
funds for has laid the groundwork for a $100,000
grant to start bringing the anti-viral T cells into the
laboratory! The protocol is now at the IRB and we
hope to start infusing donor derived anti-virus cells
this summer! I do not think we could have received
that grant nor be ready to put cells into patients
without HOOT support!
The new project that I will start using HOOT funds to
help with supply money is our new doctors work
with Natural Killer Cells. Dr. Monica Thakar is
working with a PhD Dr. Malar at the Blood Center
investigating how we can harness these “natural
born killers” to attack cancer cells without causing
Graft Versus Host Disease. We have a study putting
these Natural Killer cells into humans already..and
we have basic science work looking to see if certain
medications can help these cells work better!
I’m very excited, proud, and most of all thankful for
all of the Bisswurm and St. Agnes Family support for
all of this work.
Thanks again…look forward to seeing you guys soon.
P.S. - HOOT - Happily Out Of Tenants
We have used HOOT to treat patients with
Natural Killer Cells who have leukemia and
we are finally ready to infuse the anti virus
cells now that we used the HOOT initial
research to get a larger grant for that
specific process. Also, HOOT funds helping
with clinical research coordination so we can
participate in more clinical trials.
Bottom line: HOOT funds leading to exciting
new options so THANK YOU ALL....
Thanks, as always, for the “golf-outing”
donation. I greatly appreciate the donation
to help us direct research against AML and
ways of making transplants safer. The
HOOT Fund account affords us significant
flexibility with being able to push novel
research concepts as well as improve our
clinical research infrastructure. Please feel
free to forward to all the people who
donated, as I feel so strongly that I need to
steward these funds as best I can.
Thanks again and I plan to see you on
August 24th…for my run/walk/jog!
aka Sam’s Doctor
As always, thanks so much for the incredible donation
from the Golf Outing to support our HOOT Fund.
I apologize Jim for not updating you before the outing, but
we had some stuff in the works and I didn’t want to jinx
I can let you know that HOOT has been leveraged over the
last year to:
1. Support our Cytotoxic T cell protocol-we have
grown and now put cells into four patients (I think, I lose
track!). This protocol is going well and will be part of
future “regrowing” of immune systems with T cell
depletion to prevent graft versus host disease.
2. Support the work Natural Killer Cell infusion
protocol. We have treated many patients at Froedtert and
Children’s (and Seattle too) with this protocol and we
continue to be encouraged. This protocol will close soon
as we have almost made the initial study numbers. Dr.
Thakar is working on a second generation NK protocol to
follow the current one.
What is REALLY exciting to me is that we are starting to
use HOOT Funds to help us get into CAR-T cell research.
CAR-T cells are the most cutting edge use of the immune
system to fight cancer. We have entered a relationship
with Lentigen and Miltenyi (biotech companies) to
research the development of CAR-T cells using their
novel platform. We are hoping that this translates into a
clinical protocol using this platform in the future. The
flexibility and availability of the HOOT Funds have allowed
us to get this going off the ground quickly, so THANK YOU.
Plan to see you on 8/29!
Dr. Dave (Sam’s Doctor )
The HOOT Fund continues to catalyze our cellular therapy program on campus
with a goal of treating cancer and blood disorders safer. It has been an exciting
year as we continue to treat more people with cellular therapy and our basic
science research is leading to additional translational studies that we are hopeful
will lead to additional treatment protocols.
Our Natural Killer (NK) Cell Team, led by Dr. Thakar and Dr. Malar, have a novel
study that is enrolling patients with solid tumors and trying to help these patients
with bone marrow transplants and NK cell infusions that leverage the power of NK
cells to fight solid tumors such as bone tumors and even brain tumors. As Drs.
Thakar and Malar learn more about NK cells, they will continue to translate that
information into novel treatments.
Our Cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) Team, led by Dr. Talano, Dr. Taylor, and Dr. Johnson,
has continued to enroll and infuse CTL's to prevent the viral infections EBV, CMV
and Adenovirus after a T-cell depleted transplant. We are very excited that our
team has received approval for evolving this study into a multi-center protocol, with
FDA approval, using a novel method of making the CTL's which we think will lead
to safer transplants for an increasing number of patients.
Our NK and CTL programs are a direct result of being able to utilize HOOT Funds
to invest, support, and catalyze these research programs. We would not be where
we are without the generous and passionate support from the HOOT Fund. As
always, I pledge to steward the funds as best I can in order to make sure the
dream of our HOT unit being Happily Out Of Tenants is realized.
THANKS, AS ALWAYS,