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Microbeads- the jewel  to stimulate immune  system recovery?


Click on the link above and scroll down to page 6




  Dr. Levine's CLL Global project abstract


We've made a few changes to the CLL Global website:


- A search bar has been added at the top of the website to easily search a specific topic  


- Momentum archives now offers a list of content for each article (find it under News and Views section) 


-Tidbits archives can be accessed through the News and Views section  


- The Partner Perspectives stories featured in Tidbits are archived and can be accessed by clicking the Donate tab at the top or the Get Involved puzzle piece on the home page 


Blue Rondo a la Turk

Blue Rondo a la Turk

 Watch and listen to Will Newman's rendition of Blue Rondo a la Turk originally composed by David Brubeck



CLL 2010 Patient Symposium: Immune System Defects

CLL Immune System Defects


Dr. William Wierda breaks down what happens with the immune system in CLL patients (top video) and the who, what, when and how of vaccines for CLL patients (bottom video).  

CLL 2010 Patient Symposium: Immune System Vaccinations

CLL Immune System Vaccinations



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August 2011 


Boy, it's hot outside! It is hard to think about winter with some of us experiencing record breaking summer temperatures, but as you will read below, one of CLL Global's supporters has been preparing for the Holidays all year. It is also almost time to start thinking about vaccines. CLL patients, of course, have to be more cautious than others. Keep on reading to learn more.    



Preliminary Findings of CD3/CD28 Activated T-cells


Dr. Bruce Levine

Dr. Bruce Levine 

Dr. Bruce Levine at the University of Pennsylvania recently provided an update on his CLL Global project which is based on the hypothesis that activated T-cells can repair a CLL patient's immune system following chemotherapy. T-cells are immune cells that circulate throughout the body fighting off infections. Researchers have been testing the feasibility of removing patients' T-cells and activating them with special microbeads (CD3/CD28 microbeads) that make the T-cell more effective. The goal is to reduce the rate of infectious complications and potentially delay the time to disease progression.


CLL Global is funding the multi-center trial at MD Anderson Cancer Center and UPenn. The basis of the trial is to evaluate the efficacy of administering CD3/CD28 activated T-cells to CLL patients following treatment with fludarabine or alemtuzumab-based chemo-immunotherapy. To date, a total of 21 patients have been infused with the T-cells, and the infusions have been well tolerated. There have not been any treatment-related adverse events.


Immune assessments are being conducted on days +30, +90 and +365 after the T-cell infusion. There is data on 16 of the 21 patients +90 days after infusion. Increase in both CD4 and CD8 T-cell counts have been observed in these patients. Higher levels of CD4 and CD8 indicate an increase in the strength of the immune system. The current data suggests that infusions of autologous CD3/CD28-activated T-cells expanded in the laboratory are feasible and safe. Additional findings from this study will be provided upon availability.



Where There is a Will, There is a Way


Will Newman is a high school honor student from Asheville, North Carolina and a musical phenomenon. He has been playing music since he was five years old. He spent the first half of 2011 recording a Holiday album featuring an original song, "Believe Again". Will wrote the music and his father, Steve, composed the lyrics.

Will Newman

Will plans for all proceeds from CD sales to be donated to CLL Global. He has a personal stake in advancing CLL research. His father is a CLL patient. This project is a family effort to make beautiful music and support a cause close to their hearts.


The CD is expected to be packaged and ready to go by the end of summer. The album will be available in CD format and on all of the major music download sites (iTunes, Amazon.com, etc). A music video including footage from the recording sessions will be released with the album. For now, you can check out his amazing talent in the Featured Videos section of this newsletter (just to the left).


We will share updates on this project and how to purchase the

music in upcoming editions of Tidbits and Momentum. It is never too early to start planning your holiday shopping. Holiday albums make great gifts, and you can have the satisfaction of knowing your money is benefiting CLL Global and Will's music career.


If you or someone you know is planning a fundraiser or hosting an event, especially around the holidays, Will can perform and promote the album. His parents have graciously offered to support this cause and facilitate his touring efforts. Will's music is even better in person.  


Email [email protected]  for more information or contact Will directly via his webpage: willnewmanmusic.com





To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate


It is no secret that CLL patients have defects in their immune system and therefore suffer from weakened immunity. This causes several problems for patients. They are more prone to infections, yet their defunct immune system also makes the vaccines given to prevent infections less effective. As the cold weather draws near, patients should start to consider their protection strategies.   (For those of you experiencing the heat flu shotwave, it may be hard to believe that we are suggesting preparation for cold weather strategies.)


CLL doctors will begin fielding phone calls from patients asking if the flu shot is safe. While it is safe, the flu shot seems to be effective approximately half of the time in patients who have not received any treatment. If a patient has had treatment, the likelihood of the influenza vaccine working is significantly decreased, to the tune of roughly 10-25%. Current standard treatments further reduce the effectiveness of the immune system because while eradicating the CLL, treatments also deplete the body of healthy immune cells. Although the benefits may be reduced, doctors generally recommend that their patients receive the flu shot because there is little risk. Limited protection is better than none.


In addition to the flu vaccine, inactivated vaccines such as tetanus, pneumococcus (pneumonia vaccine), and Hepatitis A and B can be of benefit for CLL patients. Live attenuated vaccines such as polio, yellow fever and zoster (shingles vaccine) are NOT recommended for CLL patients. A live vaccine contains a weakened form of the actual virus which normally creates a more robust immune response than an inactivated, or killed, vaccine. But the combination of a live vaccine and the dysfunctional immune system of a CLL patient can cause harm.


Please consult with your physician before making a decision on the flu shot or any other vaccine. Every CLL patient has a different immune system, and your doctor knows what is best for you. You should also encourage family and friends to get the flu shot so that they are less likely to pass on anything. Frequent hand washing is always a good measure to prevent and protect.



We hope this issue was informational and inspirational. Good luck staying cool! Be happy and well.     



CLL Global Research Foundation