New CLL Leukemia Treatment Provides Promise and Hope

On August 15, 2011, in Community, by K. Lindsay Rakers

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Physicians at the University of Pennsylvania might be heros – at least in my book. My mother has suffered from CLL leukemia for almost 12 years now. While we have been somewhat “lucky” with her health, CLL leukemia has certainly changed her life and the lives of everyone in our family. To date, CLL leukemia (chroniclymphocytic leukemia) is usually kept in check with radiation and chemotherapy but there is no cure other than a very risky bone marrow transplant which most people are not healthy enough to undertake. The repeated radiation and chemotherapy is extremely hard on the human body and can cause organ failure, immune disorders and other forms of cancer – not to mention the extreme fatigue and stomach illnesses that go hand in hand with such treatment.
But the “Penn experiment” may have discovered a breakthrough. Doctors at Penn have developed a shot for these cancer patients. In three test subjects, the shot treatment made the leukemia disappear completely in two people and reduced it by 70% in the third person. As much as five pounds of tissue riddled with cancer in all of these patients. And the best news is, a year later, the cancer is still gone. CLL is the most common form of leukemia (blood cancer). It affects 15,000 people in our country each year and is fatal for 4,300 of them per year.
The scientists removed various white blood cells and, using a harmless version of HIV, they inserted genes into each white blood cell. These genetically engineered white blood cells were then grown into large batches and injected back into the patients. The white blood cells, now stronger and called “serial killers” hunt down the cancer cells and kill them off. The side effects were much like an infection – aches and pains and fevers. There has been a shortage of funds to make this miracle available to the public. Let’s spread the word and kick CLL’s ass!
New Leukemia Treatment Exceeds “Wildest Expectations”,, August 15, 2011.


Comments are closed.

Proud Supporters Of

picture picture picture picture picture picture picture picturepicture