Winter 2015 Message from the Director

John Leonard, MD
John Leonard, MD

As we begin 2015, I am struck by the remarkable progress that has been made for patients with lymphoma in 2014. Studies conducted by the Lymphoma Program at Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) and elsewhere helped lead to the accelerated approval and expanded label of ibrutinib for CLL/SLL, the full approval of idelalisib for CLL/SLL, and accelerated approval of idelalisib for follicular lymphoma. In addition bortezomib was approved for patients with previously untreated mantle cell lymphoma, belinostat was approved for previously treated T-cell lymphomas, and nivolumab was designated a breakthrough therapy. These remarkable achievements are due in no small part to the commitment of our patients and their families (along with many others throughout the world) and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all. As we continue to stress the importance of clinical trials, we will continue seeking the means to better disseminate educational information about the trials we oversee.

Our work continues to receive attention in the most important journals and meetings in this field.  In addition to publications in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and Cancer Discovery, lymphoma researchers at WCMC contributed to or presented 41 abstracts at the 56th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

In this edition of the newsletter we will focus on science. Specifically, we will focus on the role basic scientists and clinical researchers at WCMC are playing in improving our understanding of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and the development of new treatments. Dr. Shaknovich describes a novel line of investigation of exosomes, small membrane-bound vesicles that can be exchanged between cells. Dr. Jiang and Dr. Elemento describe how genomics and bioinformatics can be used to study tumor cells. Dr Cerchietti is leading the laboratory investigation of both national clinical trials described in this edition of the newsletter. We believe that a combined clinical and basic science approach will be key to improving the lives of people with lymphoma. These efforts are already helping many individuals with lymphoma directly today, and you can here more about them from our patients Jane, Robert, and Adam.

If you have any questions or comments about this newsletter, or our available clinical trials please email us at, or call us at 646-962-2074. You can also check out our website at or follow us (and some of our physicians and researchers) on Twitter at @LymphomaProgram.

Best regards,

John Leonard MD

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