Methods and compositions for diagnosis and treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Description: B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common adult leukemia in the western hemisphere and, despite years of research, remains an incurable disease.  CLL presents an enigmatic medical problem since it can follow two different clinical courses:  a relatively benign, indolent disease in which the median survival is >25 years, often without therap; versus a more malignant, aggressive progression in which median survival is <8 years despite chemotherapy and the best medical intervention.

Dr. Messmer’s invention stems from the observation that the B cell receptor of a significant proportion of CLL patients with the malignant form of the disease share the same classes of (VH, D, JH, VL, and JL) genes as other CLL patients with the aggressive disease, clustering into “cohorts” of CLL patients with highly homologous B cell receptors.  This discovery makes practical various therapeutic and diagnostic methods.

Area of Application: Oncology – chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) therapeutic and linked diagnostic reagents

Lead Investigator: Bradley Messmer, PhD

Patent Info: Issued Patents: US Patent No. 8,119,340, Issued February 21, 2012; Australian Patent No. 2004279441, Issued October 14, 2010; Foreign applications pending in Canada and Europe; WIPO Publication No.: WO2005/034733, Publication Date: April 21, 2005

References: Ghiotto, F, et al. (2004) Remarkably similar antigen receptors among a subset of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. J Clin Invest 113:1008-1016.

Messmer, BT, et al. (2004) Multiple distinct sets of stereotyped antigen receptors indicate a key role for antigen in promoting chronic lymphocytic leukemia. J Exp Med 200:519-525.

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