Jump to content

Trial at Yale on denritic cell starting this fall (2004)


Recommended Posts

This is a re-post of a thread with an update at the bottom.


Dear all,

Geoff read something Tiny (he thinks) posted a while back about this area of LC research. He found the article below in the Yale Alumni Magazine and contacted the doctors conducting the study.

They said that:

1) enrollment is NOT closed yet

2) That Geoff''s mother is not a candidate because she has brain involvement.

Geoff wanted me to share this with you all, though, for those of you who DO NOT have brain mets, though. Both the doctors he e-mailed were extremely nice. Please feel free to PM me if you hvae questions for him (He has the doctors' e-mail addresses, etc. and would be glad to speak with people on the phone about this.)

http://www.yalealumnimagazine.com/issue ... tails.html

Yale Alumni Magazine, December 2003

Details: Let There Be Light

Twenty years ago, a photochemical experiment mysteriously cured two cancer patients. Now the riddle has been solved.

November/December 2003

by Bruce Fellman

In the early 1980s, Richard Edelson, a dermatologist and immune system biologist then at Columbia University, took a shot in the dark. Dermatologists had been alleviating psoriasis for years using light-box treatments in concert with methoxypsoralen (8-MOP), a chemical found in figs, limes, celery, and Queen Anne's Lace. No one knew why it worked. But in psoriasis, as in cancer, cell growth is in overdrive, so Edelson decided to try 8-MOP on patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), an often deadly malignancy.

Edelson invented a treatment in which he took some of the patient's blood, mixed it with 8-MOP, exposed it

to light, and reinfused it into the patient's body a few hours later. He called it photopheresis. "No one had ever shined light on blood and returned it to a patient," he recalls.

"Our knowledge of the immune system has come of age. We're learning to read the language of the cells."

The first study involved five patients, all of them near death. After a few months of treatment, two suddenly became cancer-free. Both remain so today. "It was a moment you never forget," says Edelson. "I was stunned."

Photopheresis is effective, though hardly perfect: about one quarter of CTCL patients experience a reduction in malignant cells of more than than 75 percent. It is now used in 150 university medical centers in the United States and Europe. Recently, Edelson and his Yale colleagues finally found out why it works.

Malignant cells, like stealth bombers within the body, evade the immune system's defenses by hiding the unique proteins, called antigens, that would identify them as invaders and stimulate T-cells to find and destroy them. But 8-MOP, light, and the physical process of photopheresis expose the malignant cells.

First, photoactivated 8-MOP and UV light damage the cancer cells in a patient's blood, leaving dying cells that are then engulfed by white blood cells. But in a miracle of serendipity, the process of withdrawing the blood stimulates ordinary white blood cells to metamorphose into immune-system messengers called dendritic cells. After digesting a cancer cell, a dendritic cell displays the cancer cell's antigens on its surface -- a red flag that calls down a T-cell attack.

Edelson and Yale scientists Carole Berger and Douglas Hanlon have now improved on photopheresis with a technique known as transimmunization. In it, the blood and 8-MOP mixture is forced through an extremely thin Plexiglas plate. This greatly increases the number of dendritic cells. After light is shined on the Plexiglas, the mixture is incubated for 24 hours. The additional time lets the dendritic cells mature and increases the chance that they will encounter the damaged cancer cells.

The blood mixture, full of primed dendritic cells, becomes a personalized cancer vaccine. Small wonder that the procedure is raising high hopes; Edelson has been swamped by calls from desperate cancer patients. He cautions that the therapy has not even been tested yet. (If his research protocols are approved, it will soon be used in trials against lung cancer and other solid tumors.) But he is hopeful. "Our knowledge of the immune system has come of age," he says. "We're learning to read the language of the cells. We anticipate substantial breakthroughs."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are interested in applying for this study--please contact:

Lynn D. Wilson, MD, MPH

Asociate Professor

Department of Therapeutic Radiology

Yale University School of Medicine

P: (203)-737-1202

F: (203)-785-4622

She is the "principal investigator".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear all,

Sorry for this belated post.

Most likely the best way to get a hold of Dr. Wilson (and give her info about you and/or the person you are caring for) is via her e-mail address. It is as follows:


That is how Geoff communicated with her and she was very responsive.

Best of luck to all who may be interested in this.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Melinda & Geoff,

This is very interesting since I have had Psoriasis for 30 years. I wondered if this was related to LC. Psoriasis rapidly produces skin cells as can CA. Very interesting and no cure for Psoriasis either. If they found a cure for Psoriasis, just maybe for this disease too. Thanks for sharing...

If you have had surgery for brain met and it is gone, does that make one ineligible for this trial?

Blessings, prayers and hugs,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear all,

We're simply glad it may be of some help to someone eligable for the trial.

I'm afraid that I don't have answers to the questions posted above (and don't want to pretend to have knowledge that I don't have).

The doctors were really nice--and Geoff asked and received their permision to post the study info AND their contact info. for people on this board.

So--my advice would be: e-mail Dr. Miller with you questions.

It can't hurt, right? :)

Keep us all posted on what you may learn!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.