Study Funded by Cures Within Reach Enhances Clinical Protocol for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Protocol expected to increase survival rate for patients with this white blood cell cancer, which is the eighth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States
 
SKOKIE, Ill. - July 5, 2016 - PRLog -- Cures Within Reach (www.cureswithinreach.org) the global philanthropic leader catalyzing repurposing research as a fast track to saving patient lives, funded a study that has yielded exciting results and immediate clinical adoption for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is white blood cell cancer and is the eighth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, with more than 72,000 new cases identified each year, and more than 20,000 deaths annually.

This 122 patient clinical trial conducted by principal investigator, Dr. Luis Porrata at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, sought to test whether an altered autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) protocol could improve outcomes for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients. ASCT involves removing healthy blood cells from the cancer patient, treating the patient with high-dose chemotherapy to kill the cancer, and then re-infusing the patient with their removed blood cells.

"One group within the trial had significantly better results than all of the others. It turned out that they had more total white blood cells removed and re-infused, and different proportions of blood cells types taken out and put back," said Dr. Porrata. "We determined that these quantity and proportion changes made an enormous difference in outcomes. Based on these data, we are changing our ASCT protocol for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and we are hoping to extend this outcome improvement to other blood cancers."

By simply increasing both the total amount of white blood cells and the relative amount of specific cell type (natural killer cells) that are harvested and re-injected, the procedure becomes much more effective. For almost no cost or additional risk, the rate of durable remissions seen in patients in this study increased from 50% to almost 80%. The results of the study were published in Biology Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Since publication, the data have been used to support a change in clinical practice, as well as used to leverage larger philanthropic and government funding.

"We congratulate Dr. Porrata and his team at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester for the patient impact achieved from this study. This repurposing research will save lives and reduce healthcare costs for patients who suffer from a variety of blood cancers," said Dr. Bruce Bloom, President and Chief Science Officer at Cures Within Reach. "We were delighted to fund this treatment alteration study as it aligns with our mission to improve patient lives by repurposing medicine and science that already exists."

ABOUT CURES WITHIN REACH

Cures Within Reach (www.cureswithinreach.org) works to catalyze repurposing research to quickly and affordably improve patient lives. We accomplish this through collaborations that connect researchers and funding, by facilitating crowd sourcing and community, and by identifying alternative financing models and incentives.

Cures Within Reach's repurposing research projects have generated 13 "new" treatments making an impact through off-label use in clinical practice or through a commercialization track.

ABOUT CUREACCELERATORâ„¢

Cures Within Reach built CureAccelerator (www.cureaccelerator.org) to provide a global collaboration space and market for repurposing research that can deliver effective solutions to unsolved diseases. The CureAccelerator platform was built with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to explore whether drugs, devices and nutriceuticals approved for one or more human diseases can be repurposed to create "new" treatments in other diseases. CureAccelerator has almost 1000 users who have proposed over 100 projects, of which more than a dozen are already funded and moving towards patient impact.

Visit us at www.cureswithinreach.org or follow us via Twitter.com/CuresWReach (http://www.twitter.com/CuresWReach), www.linkedin.com/company/cures-within-reach, YouTube.com/cureswithinreach (http://www.youtube.com/cureswithinreach) or Facebook.com/CuresWithinReach (http://www.facebook.com/CuresWithinReach).

About Mayo Clinic, Rochester
Mayo Clinic, Rochester is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic  or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

Contact
Kristin Deuber
kristin@cureswithinreach.org
(614) 975-4186
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