Anti-Leukemia Drug May Also Work Against Ovarian Cancer

An antibody therapy already in clinical trials to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) may also prove effective against ovarian cancer – and likely other cancers as well, report researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in a study published in the Nov. 17 online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The findings extend the anti-cancer potential of an experimental monoclonal antibody called cirmtuzumab, developed at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center by Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, and colleagues. Cirmtuzumab is currently in a first-in-human phase 1 clinical trial to assess its safety and efficacy in treating CLL. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


Dr. Thomas Kipps

Dr. Thomas Kipps

Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, is professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and deputy director of research at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

Dr. Kipps directs the multi-institutional, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored CLL Research Consortium (CRC) and UC San Diego Blood Cancer Research Fund.

Novel Drug Targeting Leukemia Cells Enters Clinical Trial

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have launched a phase 1 human clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a new monoclonal antibody for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common form of blood cancer in adults. … Read the full story from the UC San Diego Newsroom


A team led by Dr. Thomas Kipps developed the new antibody, known as cirmtuzumab or UC-961. The work was conducted and supported by a California Institute for Regenerative Medicine HALT grant to co-principal investigators Dennis Carson, MD, and Catriona Jamieson, PhD, MD.

Dr. Thomas Kipps

Catriona H. M. Jamieson, MD, PhDDennis Carson, MD

L to R: Drs. Kipps, Jamieson and Carson.

UCSD-based Cancer Consortium Receives 5-Year, $20 Million Grant Renewal

NCI funding continues work focused on chronic lymphocytic leukemia  

An international consortium of scientists studying chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), based at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has been awarded a 5-year, $20 million grant by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. The grant is the second renewal of funding for a broad-based effort designed to better understand the pathology of CLL – the most common form of leukemia in the Western world – and develop new drugs and treatments. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Dr. Thomas KippsDr. Thomas Kipps heads the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research Consortium (CRC), the eight-member international body receiving the grant. Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, is professor of medicine, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, and director of the Clinical Trials Office and deputy director of research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

Thomas Kipps Receives ACGT Investigator Award

Grant will help fund further testing of gene therapy treatment for leukemia patients

Citing his on-going development of an immune-mediated gene therapy for intractable B cell leukemia, the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT) has awarded Thomas J. Kipps, MD, PhD, professor of medicine in the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and deputy director of research operations at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, its 2010 Investigator Award in Clinical Translation of Cell and Gene Therapy…. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Thomas J. Kipps, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and deputy director of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. He holds the Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research. Read more about his research.

UC San Diego Selected as Study Site for National Research Network

27 institutions looking for ways to boost immune system to fight cancer

The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine is among 27 research institutions selected across North America to be a part of the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN), funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The CITN will establish a network of top academic immunologists to conduct multicenter research on agents that boost patients’ own immune systems to fight their cancer. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Dr. Thomas Kipps, pictured above, is principal investigator of the UC San Diego CITN study site. Thomas J. Kipps, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and deputy director of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. He holds the Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research. Read more about the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network.

Dr. Januario E. Castro Receives R01 Grant Award for Leukemia Research

Dr. Januario E. CastroJanuario E. Castro, M.D., has received a 3-year R01 grant from the Food and Drug Administration to investigate a new immunogene therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Dr. Castro is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Divisions of Hematology-Oncology and Blood & Bone Marrow Transplantation.

Dr. Castro’s project is “Gene therapy of chronic lymphocytic leukemia using intranodal injection of Ad-ISF35.”

Its goal is to evaluate the clinical and pre-clinical activity of Ad-ISF35, a replication-defective adenovirus vector that encodes a chimeric (human-mouse) CD154 molecule. The Ad-ISF35 is employed to transduce cancer cells and induce anti-tumor responses.

Dr. Castro and his coworkers have conducted a promising preliminary Phase 1 clinical study of Ad-ISF35 in six patients. Recently, they reported some of their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).   Read the PNAS article

The R01 funding comes from the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development and is expected to start in May or June of this year.

The grant will allow Dr. Castro and his team to continue the Phase 1 trial as well as to begin an extension protocol and continue correlative studies to develop this new therapeutic strategy.

The project’s co-principal investigator is Dr. Castro’s mentor, Thomas Kipps, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology.

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