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Wow! Even those of us who do not have a diagnosis of CLL cannot help but find the clever design and mechanisms of action for bi-specific antibodies beguiling. Antibodies bind to unique molecules on the outside of cells known as antigens. As the name would imply, bi-specific antibodies bind to two targets. Epcoritamab, the bispecific featured in our interview with Dr. Lindsey Roeker this week, uses one arm of its Y chromosome to bind CD3 to the surface of T cells. The other arm binds to CD20 on the surface of CLL cells. This brings T cells and CLL cells closer together so that T cells can recognize and destroy CLL cells. Though similar to CAR-T in action and side effects, bi-specific antibodies are different in that they are not made for a specific individual. They are “off-the-shelf,” so this therapy is more readily available for everyone.
We invite you to watch an interview with Dr. Lindsey Roeker on epcoritamab, a bispecific antibody therapy for relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), which is currently in clinical trials.
Curious to understand more about bi-specific antibodies? Here you go!
CLL patient Little Derek Fights Another Battle: MDS. Music lifts him up and encourages those who hear his music. Not only that, but Derek has directed the donations inspired by his music to pay for medical costs (not otherwise covered for cancer patients in crisis) at his local Nova Scotia hospital. We are delighted to be able to shine a light on Derek’s talent, fortitude, and kindness. Give him a listen!
CLL Society has just lost a support group member due to a fatal fungal blood infection. His wife reached out asking us to remind our community that all CLL patients are immune suppressed, and that vulnerability extends far beyond the increased risk for having poor outcomes from COVID-19. The CLL community needs to be vigilant about all infections, including organisms such as fungi that rarely cause problems in those with good immunity. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family, and we are thankful for their kindness in sharing this critical reminder.
Join us for a one-hour online session, Navigating Treatment with BTK Inhibitors led by Dr. Matthew Davids, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This interactive program will take place on Friday, August 6th, at 3:00 PM ET. Hear a CLL patient’s perspective about the latest findings on long-term efficacy of BTK-inhibitors, side-effect management, and adopting healthy lifestyles to improve outcomes.
This educational activity is the first in a series specifically designed to help patients and caregivers understand the available treatment options for CLL across the continuum of care, learn about BTK-inhibitors, and how to confidently talk with doctors and other clinicians to align their goals and priorities for care. Send your questions to the expert panel.
There are programs to help with financial assistance for CLL patients and families. The LLS Co-Pay Assistance Program can help CLL patients cover out-of-pocket expenses for labs, scans, tests, insurance premiums, and co-pays, whether you are in watch and wait or active treatment. The PAN Foundation’s FundFinder is a free resource to help track whether a patient assistance program and other support services are available. Learn more about these programs and other forms of assistance here.
In Case You Missed It
We saved it for you! If you missed the June 29th Webinar presented by Lab Scientist Dr. Susan Leclair called, Learning to Decode Your Blood Test Results please consider watching at your leisure. It was CLL Society’s highest attended webinar to date! There was so much helpful information shared about how to interpret blood test results and why it is critical to keep track of trending labs in CLL.
CLL Society Support Group Meetings Coming Up!
CLL Society Support Group meetings have moved to a virtual platform for most locations due to the threat of coronavirus. Support group members will receive an invitation to register for the meeting from the support group facilitator. If you are new to the group, please contact the RSVP email for the Support Group in your region. Once it is safe again, we will resume in-person meetings.
Visit the individual event listings on our website for the most up-to-date information on all CLL Society Support Group meetings.