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Natural killer cells - a cure

by afabris on Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:13 pm

Researchers in Toronto,Canada believe they have found a killer cell that can search and destroy blood cancer cells. This is a possible cure for myeloma and other blood cancers.

A stage 1 trial will begin as soon as enough funds are gathered.

If there is anyway you can help please do.

Thank-you.

WHAT IT IS:

The Gell Therapy Program at the University Health Network's Princess Margaret Hospital is using Natural Killer (NK) cells of the body's own immune system to fight the blood cancers: leukemia, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, Hodgkins lymphoma.

They have identified a novel natural killer cell line called NK92 which kills not only bulk cancer cells but the cancer-initiating cells.

That means that cell based therapy used together with standard therapies can ensure that both types of cancer cells are eradicated, preventing the cancer from recurring after remission. A possible break­through for blood cancer patients.

WHERE WE ARE:

ln the Phase 1 trial so far, treatment with NK92 shows anti-cancer activity in very advanced cases - and it is well tolerated, with no side effects. An end stage lymphoma patient resistant to all other treatments has achieved a prolonged, complete response.

The trial has been halted due to insufficient funds.

THE TARGET:

$500,000. For treating 4 more patients to complete the Phase 1 trial and to publish the results. Prolonged remission for blood cancer patients, with future implications for other cancers.

Ultimately, a possible cure for the blood cancers.

Donations should be made out as follows:
Toronto General and Western Research Foundation, UHN
CELL THERAPY PROGRAM, Princess Margaret Hospital
c/o Dr. Armand Keating (The Sandy Project)
610 University Avenue, 5-303
Toronto ON M5G 2M9

afabris
Name: Al

Re: Natural killer cells - a cure

by TerryH on Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:21 pm

You're kidding, right? Are you seriously trying to do fundraising with patients, many of whom have been disabled by their disease and can no longer earn any money, and many of whom have spent huge amounts of their savings to get the treatment they've already received? And for a treatment that, even if it eventually is proven successfully (a huge if), probably won't be widely available for another five years?

If the treatment is so promising, why not get a government agency to fund the research, or sell at least some of the rights off to a pharmaceutical company? It should be easy to get the needed $500,000 one of those ways.

That is, unless the researchers who are carrying out this trial want to keep the rights to the drug to themselves, in which case they're not asking for donations to help a worthy cause. They're asking for donations to help them get a bigger payday down the road.

Are you a patient who has participated in the trial, or one of the researchers?

And can you explain to us why it will cost $500,000 to treat four more patients with this treatment? That seems like a huge amount of money for just four patients. How much of that money is going to go toward the salaries of researchers and administrative personnel, rather than the actual treatment itself?

TerryH

Re: Natural killer cells - a cure

by Anonymous on Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:15 pm

Sorry to anyone I offended.

I am neither a patient nor a researcher. My brother has the disease.

Hard to receive funding from governments until a stage 1 is completed. Pharma companies have no interest in therapies that don't involve the production of a pill. I have no medical background but from the perspective of a lay person it seems more logical to fight myeloma at the cellular level.

As requested here is more information regarding how the money is going to be spent.

PMH/UHN CELL- THERAPY PROGRAM

The Cell Therapy Program at the University Health Network's Princess Margaret Hospital consists of the Research Laboratory where research is conducted, clinical studies are undertaken, and discoveries are made, and the Cell Therapy Facilities which generate the cells needed for the clinical studies based on the research. Those cells are then tested in patients who typically have failed other kinds of therapies.

The Cell Therapy Program is striving to become a global leader both in tissue re-generation and in anti-cancer celltherapy, using the cells of a body's own natural killer (NK) immune cells to fight the blood cancers: leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

Our results so far were featured on the front cover of the journal CYTOTHERAPY. The findings are especially exciting as many of the current cancer treatments target only bulk cancer. The cell-based therapy appears to successfully target actual cancer-initiating cells. The goal is to use cell-based therapy together with standard therapies to ensure that cancer doesn't recur.

The Cell Therapy Program is currently conducting a Phase I clinical trial, treating eight patients with advanced blood cancers with NK-92, an immortal cell line which kills malignant cancer cells more effectively than normal NK cells. The treatment appears to be well tolerated with virtually no side effects, and has anti-cancer activity in very advanced cases. One Hodgkin lymphoma patient who had exhausted all other treatments and was resistant to end-stage chemotherapy has achieved a prolonged complete remission with NK-92 therapy.

Unfortunately, the trial has been halted because of insutficient funds'

Our current plan is to complete the Phase I Clinical Trials on four multiple myeloma patients. We can assess the response of patients with Multiple Myeloma more easily than with other blood cancers. lf we are successful we will quickly initiate Health Canada-approved clinical trials to test this approach on a broad number of blood cancer patients.

Completing the Phase I Clinical Trial with its promising results requires extending the laboratory experiments, conducting animal studies and then designing clinical protocols for patients with less advanced cancers. The cost to complete is $500,000. All funding will be used directly to further this research with no administrative charges or overheads, and all donations are fully tax deductible both in Canada and in the United States.

Following is a breakdown of how the funds would be disbursed:
Supplies & safety/sterility testing to complete the Phase l trial $250,000
Post-doctoral Research Fellow Salary (1.0 FTE): $45,000
Senior Technician Salary (1.0 FTE): $65,000
Project Officer Salary (1.0 FTE): $90,000
Pre-clinical animal studies $50,000
Total: $500,000

Anonymous

Re: Natural killer cells - a cure

by Anonymous 2 on Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:39 pm

If this is true and could save thousands of lives why on earth is the funding not provided! There must be someone out there that could help with this, is it necessary that almost half the money is going towards salaries!! Come on, people are dying everyday from this, surely if there is such a break through it should be known worldwide & people should be pulling together worlrdwide to get this product tested and out on the market to people as quickly as possible.

THIS POST ABOVE IS FROM JUNE 2012, Why has there only been 1 reply, people should be going nuts over this news! or am i being totally gullible!

Anonymous 2

Re: Natural killer cells - a cure

by Nancy Shamanna on Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:34 pm

Probably people did not really notice this post since the Beacon posts in the forum are numerous. I wonder how the trial did. Were they able to restart it?

I think, and correct me if I am wrong, that this sort of therapy is based from an individual's own cells. So it is totally individualized to a patient. That is why it is so expensive. But it is interesting to me at least that they state that the first cancer to be studied with it is multiple myeloma. When they say that the results can be studied more quickly than with other blood cancer patients, is that because the blood makers such as 'm' protein are easily measured in blood tests? Sorry I don't even know what the measurable cancer markers are for the lymphomas etc.

I hope that the fund raising is happening. I think that there is a lot of fund raising done for cancer research in general, and that a lot of cancer research is also basic cell biology research. Thus funding might be available from other sources, not just myeloma fund raising institutions.

As an aside, several times when I have taken bone building meds, I have met other patients who are breast cancer patients. To me, this shows that some treatments go across boundaries of what the cancer is called, in order to treat the effects of it. Sorry if this analogy isn't a close one to the natural killer cell research, but I can't readily think of another one.

Of course, as Terry H said, patients themselves have lots of financial worries from cancer and thus may not be the best people to ask for help.

Nancy Shamanna
Name: Nancy Shamanna
Who do you know with myeloma?: Self and others too
When were you/they diagnosed?: July 2009

Re: Natural killer cells - a cure

by Eric Hofacket on Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:02 pm

If you want to get the best people and sharpest minds to work on multiple myeloma research, they are going to need to get paid. Drug companies, or any business for that matter, are not going to invest in research that does not lead to some kind of profitable product. I am not saying that to be negative on corporations, that is just the reality of how business have to operate.

The downside of this is the research and potential cures and treatments that cannot be patented, like the much discussed curcumin or the treatment discussed in this article, are going to need to be funded by government organizations and cancer charities organizations like the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF).

Most people who have multiple myeloma and read this forum are not likely to be in a position to financially contribute much, but that does not mean everyone. Myself and friends and family have already contributed nearly $10k to MMRF. And there is the possibility there could be a reader of the Myeloma Beacon who has the means to make a significant contribution to a fund a NK92. Sam Walton donated enough to build the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy at the University of Arkansas.

Eric Hofacket
Name: Eric H
When were you/they diagnosed?: 01 April 2011
Age at diagnosis: 44

Re: Natural killer cells - a cure

by SteveC on Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:25 pm

I remember this post. Like Terry I too thought it seemed "UNUSUAL", but that if it had been approved by the MB owner for posting then perhaps it was genuine. I suspect that the original poster is hoping the study will continue because he has a brother involved in Phase 1 and is thinking that maybe he can help raise funds to make that happen. But of course NK cells are being studied to treat all kinds of cancers at research centers all over the world. Whether NK-92 cells are more potent than other NK cells I couldn't say.

Couple of links below might shed some light.

http://www.conkwest.com/clinical-trials/

http://www.conkwest.com/clinical-trials/phase-1-3/

Best,

Steve

SteveC

Re: Natural killer cells - a cure

by Nancy Shamanna on Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:59 pm

I see that some of the studies that Steve C posted are also from the University Health Network, Ontario. Seems to be an ongoing research there. NK-92 cells appear to be a cell line being used in all of these studies (not all in Canada of course). Maybe we will hear more about it here too! Other blood cancers are being targeted as well as myeloma, which to me bodes well for funding. Cancer research funding covers a very broad spectrum of diseases.

Nancy Shamanna
Name: Nancy Shamanna
Who do you know with myeloma?: Self and others too
When were you/they diagnosed?: July 2009

Re: Natural Killer Cells - A Cure

by Chuck on Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:42 am

Just a point of information. There is currently a clinical trial on Killer Cells -- A Phase II Study of Expanded Natural Killer Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma -- underway at MIRT/UAMS

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01313897

Chuck

Re: Natural killer cells - a cure

by tellis123 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:46 pm

Hello, I am new here. My father was just diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

I am in Toronto Canada, and we are going to Princess Margaret. Because of this post, I have reached out to Dr. Keating, the one heading the Natural Killer Cells study. He said he would call me on Tuesday Aug 5, 2014 to update me on his progress.

Has anyone heard of or used the Bryzinski treatment for multiple myeloma?

I look forward to people's responses.

tellis123

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