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If you have recently been diagnosed with CLL, you probably have questions. 


Information about CLL


What we are doing to defeat CLL



 CLL Global is currently accepting Letters of Intent (LOIs) from researchers who wish to apply for funding to conduct CLL research. The LOI submission deadline is Friday, September 28th, 2012.


CLICK HERE for more information and to access the relevant forms and guidelines.  


Cover pageClick on the image to learn more about the immune system.
Provided by the National Institutes of Health

The CLL Immune System and Bug Bites

 A small percent of CLL patients will experience an overreaction to bug bites. Learn more below. 
Ask the CLL Expert: Bug Bite Reactions and FCR
Ask the CLL Expert: Bug Bite Reactions and FCR

Mosquitoes, Spiders and Bees! Oh My!
Click on the text to read more about bug bites and CLL. Article is half way down the page.

Do you have questions about the immune system? Email us, and we will provide answers to your questions as the series continues.

JEM Cure for CLL  

JEM Cure for CLL website


JEM Cure for CLL 
140 South Broadway 
Pitman, NJ 08071 






Is there something specific you want to read and learn about? 


Let us know if you have any comments or suggestions for improvement.


You are the reason CLL Global exists, and we want to hear from you.



In the "Skin Cancer as a Second Malignancy" article in last month's issue, we stated, "The immune system of CLL patients is already defunct." What it should have said is that "The immune system of CLL patients is already deficient." Please accept our apologies for the misprint and thank you for bringing this to our attention.


A total of $1 million  will be spent (over two years) on funding the projects in the article to the right!  


This is only possible because of readers like you who recognize the need for CLL-specific research and who want to be a part of piecing together the puzzle to eliminate CLL as a threat to the life and health of patients.  




We are forever grateful for all you do for us.


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August 2012 



Ah, the lazy days of summer are here. This can make some of us a little sluggish, but our immune system is in constant motion. This issue of Tidbits kicks off a series on the immune system. We also introduce you to a non-profit partner helping solve the CLL puzzle and announce a second year of funding for some of our grant recipients.


Immune System 101 


The immune system is an amazing thing. It is responsible for protecting us from infections and keeping us well. CLL is a type of blood cancer which is directly associated with defects in the immune system. Because of this, we thought an explanation of the immune system and how it affects patients suffering from CLL would be appropriate. The next several issues of Tidbits will discuss the immune system, the development of CLL, the relationship between CLL and the immune system, IVIG therapy (we have received many inquiries about this) and the future of immune-based therapy for CLL. Today we will focus on the basics.      


The immune system is made up of various types of immune cells like B- and T-lymphocytes, complex lymphoid organs like lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow, and chemical signals that protect against foreign invaders like viruses, bacteria, microbes and toxins. These invaders, and anything else that stimulates a response from the immune system, are called antigens. The lymphoid organs are located throughout the body, as you can see in the image below. These organs serve as hubs, or military bases of the immune system. 


immune system diagram
The organs of the immune system


Immune cells serve as the army of the immune system and carry out the attacks on antigens. These cells circulate throughout the body and also hide in the lymphoid organs. They are released whenever the body triggers an immune response to remove antigens. Chemicals like cytokines and chemokines are the source of communication necessary to get this job done. Our immune system is at work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most of the time we do not realize it; other times there are visible signs such as a sneeze or swollen lymph nodes. (This is different from the swollen lymph nodes experienced by CLL patients. We will further address this difference as the discussion unfolds in upcoming Tidbits.)  


The immune system can be broken up into two main parts: innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is the primary defense mechanism against invading organisms. It is the first responder to the invaders and acts in a non-specific manner. Innate immunity is comparable to bombing a whole area to eliminate the instigating antigen. It is instinctual and has been working in full swing since birth. The adaptive immune system is target-specific, like a drone attack, but slower to make it to combat. It specifically attacks only the antigen that entices a response. Adaptive immunity gets better with time. It recognizes previously identified antigens and knows how to attack and react even faster with each subsequent exposure. The two systems communicate with each other and work together as needed.  


This is a basic overview to get us started. In the upcoming months we will go into more detail about everything discussed above. For curious minds who do not want to wait, the National Institutes of Health provides a significant amount of information on how the immune system works in very easy-to-understand terms. As a disclaimer, there is no CLL-specific information. The link is located in the side bar to the left.   



A Real JEM of a Supporter 


CLL research is able to shine a bit brighter thanks to the support of the Joyce E. McHugh Cure for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (JEM Cure for CLL) organization. This New Jersey based non-profit is named in honor Joyce E. McHugh. Joyce was diagnosed with CLL in 2002 and remained in the watch and wait stage until December 2007. In March 2008 Joyce was

found to be in complete remission after receiving treatment. Friends from Joyce's bible study group formed JEM Cure for CLL in 2009 to honor her and to provide support for CLL research and CLL patients.  

JEM Cure members
L to R: Paul and Joyce McHugh and Sue and Charles Montecino (Mr. Montecino serves as president of JEM Cure for CLL) 

JEM Cure for CLL hosts an annual dinner and other activities in order to provide patient resources and research support. CLL Global is grateful to be a recipient of JEM's efforts. The first two JEM dinners resulted in $19,500 to CLL Global. JEM also finds it very important to provide support for patients suffering from CLL. They offer spiritual and emotional support and also financial support to individuals and their families living in the Delaware Valley area. Individuals can contact JEM if they need help locating information or finding physicians who can meet their needs. Contact information and a link to the financial support application can be found in the side bar to the left.

JEM CLL dinner
Most recent fundraiser: dinner and basket auction

Those of us fighting CLL have to rally together and work hard. We are thankful for JEM Cure for CLL for their support and for providing assistance to CLL patients. They are always looking for volunteers and would be happy to hear from you. If you would like to connect with them for assistance, to volunteer or to support the organization, please visit www.jemcureforcll.org for more information. 




Second Year of Funding Awarded 


Five grant recipients originally awarded in 2011 have all received a second year of funding from CLL Global. We announced the initial funding of these projects in the very first issue of Tidbits back in April 2011. Click here to read the article.  


All recipients originally received a grant of up to $100,000 to use toward a research project related to CLL. A second year of funding has been awarded for each project based on progress made during the first year and milestones to be completed during the second year.


Click on the name of the researcher to read his biography and click on the name of the project to read a summary of the project. The project titles may be intimidating, but hopefully you find the project summaries to be more reader-friendly.


Renier Brentjens, M.D., Ph.D.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center


A Phase I clinical trial of consolidation therapy with autologous T-cells genetically targeted to the CD19 antigen in high risk CLL patients following up front chemotherapy with   

pentostatin, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab 


Dr. George CalinGeorge Calin, M.D., Ph.D.

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center


Using non-codingRNAs for understanding the trisomy 12 and 6q deletion pathogeny in CLL 





Dr. GibsonSpencer Gibson, M.D.

University of Manitoba (Canada)


Tyrosine kinase inhibitor Gefitinib as a novel therapy for aggressive Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) 




Dr. Marco Herling Marco Herling, M.D.

University Cologne (Germany)


Targeting the disturbed redox equilibrium in CLL - analysis of the cause-effect relationship of novel ROS catalytic 'sensor/effector' compounds 




Dr. Satoshi NagataSatoshi Nagata, Ph.D.

Sanford Research/ University of South Dakota


Therapeutic antibody specific to Fc receptor-like 5 protein expressed in CLL 


If you have been waiting to take action to spread the word, now is the best time to start. "Never be content to sit on the sidelines when there is so much work to be done on the field." - Susan Gale  



CLL Global Research Foundation