ASCO Annual Meeting To Feature Ohio State Cancer Research  

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Posted: 5/14/2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Research conducted by scientists at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute will be featured during the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Orlando, Fla., May 29 to June 2.

Ohio State cancer researchers presenting data at ASCO include:

Dr. William Blum, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He is also a member of the Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

  • Abstract #7010, “Efficacy of Novel Schedule of Decitabine,” poster display/discussion session from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 29, as part of the Leukemia, Myelodysplasia and Transplantation track.


Preliminary findings of the phase II study suggest that older, previously untreated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients can achieve complete remission at a higher than expected rate when treated with the drug decitabine using a novel dosing schedule.

About 13,300 new cases of AML are expected this year in the United States. It is a rapidly progressive disease that results in the accumulation of immature, functionless cells in the marrow and blood, leaving the body unable to fight infections or produce enough normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The disease primarily affects people age 60 and older and is the second most common form of leukemia in adults.

Most elderly AML patients diagnosed today are offered only supportive care because their bodies are believed to be too weak to withstand the effects of chemotherapy treatment. This ongoing study involves 33 patients age 60 to 83.

A total of 58 percent of patients responded, including 42 percent who achieved complete remission. In some cases, patients who achieved remission were then able to receive bone marrow transplants designed to further improve their chances for cure, as part of another clinical trial of transplantation specifically designed for older AML patients.

Dr. Don Benson, assistant professor of medicine and coordinator of education in the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He is also a member of the Experimental Therapeutics program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

  • Abstract #3032, “Novel Monoclonal Antibody Enhances Natural Killer Cell Cytokines,” general poster session, 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 30, as part of the Developmental Therapeutics track.


Preliminary results of the Phase I trial show that a new treatment for patients with multiple myeloma works by enhancing the body’s immune response against the cancer. This is the first time the treatment has been conducted.

Multiple myeloma, an incurable type of cancer formed by cancerous plasma cells, affects about 20,000 people in the United States each year.

Natural killer cells are immune cells in the body that can recognize and kill cancer cells, including multiple myeloma cells. However, as multiple myeloma progresses, the cancer cells learn how to hide from natural killer cells by expressing certain proteins on their surface. The novel monoclonal antibody helps natural killer cells overcome this process and augments their ability to recognize and kill the myeloma cells again. The study shows the antibody is safe and well-tolerated by patients.

Dr. Leslie Andritsos, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology/ Blood and Marrow Transplantation in the Department of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

  • Abstract #3017, “A Phase I trial of TRU-016, an Anti-CD37 Small Modular Immunopharmaceutical (SMIP) in Relapsed and Refractory CLL,” poster display/discussion session, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 31, as part of Developmental Therapeutics track.


Early results of a Phase 1 study evaluating a novel immunopharmaceutical molecule, TRU-016, found that it has significant activity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Importantly, the drug was active in patients with high risk cytogenetic features, a group of patients who usually do not respond to this type of therapy. CLL is a type of cancer that starts from white blood cells, called lymphocytes, in the bone marrow and then invades the blood.

About 15,000 new cases of CLL will be diagnosed each year in the United States.

The drug has been shown to reduce tumor lymphocyte blood counts, reduce lymph node and spleen size and/or improve the production of red blood cells and platelets. TRU-016 is a humanized SMIP protein therapeutic that targets the CD37 antigen and has shown potent anti-tumor activity in pre-clinical studies.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute is one of only 40 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States and the only freestanding cancer hospital in the Midwest. Ranked among the top 20 cancer hospitals in the nation, The James is the 175-bed adult patient-care component of the cancer program at The Ohio State University.

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Eileen Scahill
Medical Center Communications
614-293-3737
Eileen.Scahill@osumc.edu



Tags: Blood Disorders; Clinical/Translational Research; James Cancer Hospital; Leukemia; Multiple Myeloma; OSU Medical Center; Researchers

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) 300 W. 10th Ave. Columbus, OH 43210 Phone: 1-800-293-5066 | Email: jamesline@osumc.edu