Dr Jeff Sharman has just posted a blog that will be of interest to anyone wishing to know more of the history of cancer treatment breakthroughs for low grade lymphomas which specifically includes Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (SLL) and by association, CLL, plus it concludes with Dr Sharman's idea of where our next big breakthrough is likely to occur.
"If you look back over the last 60 years of advances cancer medicine, there are only a handful of clinical breakthroughs in low grade lymphoma (indolent) that fundamentally re-oriented our treatment strategies in the disease and upended the status quo of the time."
The following drugs that should be familiar to us get specific mention: Bendamustine, Idelalisib, Iibrutinib, Revlimid, Rituximab and Vincristine.
Some interesting quotes:
Rarely a day goes by where I am not asked by a patient, “is there anything I can do to boost my immune system.” While my answer has always been, “not really” a number of very important new therapies are showing that harnessing the power of the immune system to attack cancer can be extremely powerful.
B cell cancers have a remarkable ability to “put the T cells to sleep.” Whether though secretion of hormones, or actually manipulating the on/off switches of T cells, the cancerous B cells literally put the other half of the immune system into a post thanksgiving meal food coma.
This blog also includes a "Patterns of care data for indolent NHL 'slideshare'" for those of us wanting to know more.
Those of us with Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (SLL) may also find Dr Sharman's earlier explanation of SLL very helpful:
His discussion on the staging differences between SLL and CLL is especially reassuring.
Perhaps someone that is familiar with both baseball and some better understood international sport could translate Dr Sharman's baseball introductory allegory. I'm afraid it went right over my head!
Photo: Black anther Flax lily flower (Dianella Revoluta), found on the roadside verge. Thanks once again to Jay for the identification.