At 75, Roger Nuhn of Glasford is a relative newlywed. When he and Bonnie married five years ago, he joined a close-knit family that all rallied around him when he started treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia in the winter of 2014. Presented with the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial, Roger decided, “What have I got to lose?” The answer: Nothing. He’s not only responding well to treatment—which he’s not sure he could have afforded on his own—but he’s also recovered the energy to do the things he loves. “I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without this treatment. Now, I feel like doing stuff again.” Continue Reading

Roger Nuhn

When you consider all the things you’d like to pass on to your children, cancer certainly doesn’t make the list. But given her family’s history, Ann Best knew it was a possibility. After much deliberation, Ann underwent genetic testing and many family members followed. Knowing the important role the Foundation plays in helping promote and advance testing locally; Ann remains a vocal advocate, serving as a volunteer, donor and board member. “For my kids, I want to see really good research continue right here. The Foundation helps keep Illinois CancerCare on the cutting edge of treatments and therapies.” Continue Reading

Ann Best

Research at Illinois CancerCare leads to NEW standard of care in Leukemia that does not require chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is slowly becoming a thing of the past

Chemotherapy is slowly becoming a thing of the past as new, less toxic cancer treatments are becoming available. A National Cancer Institute sponsored clinical trial titled E1912  partnered with our local Illinois CancerCare and resulted in a major treatment advancement for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients, without the use of any chemotherapy drugs!

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved ibrutinib and rituximab combination therapy as initial treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL).  The results from E1912 show that ibrutinib plus rituximab not only provide better control of the cancer, it also prolonged life and had fewer side effects compared to the previous standard care in untreated patients (aged 70 or younger) with CLL/SLL. Ibrutinib and rituximab are classified as targeted therapies. Targeted therapies are designed to destroy specific cancer cells, while sparing normal healthy cells -unlike chemotherapy. Prior to this FDA approval, the standard treatment given upfront for CLL/SLL consisted of an aggressive chemo-immunotherapy regimen. A new treatment option that is more effective and has less side effects is a major win for our patients!

Important advancements such as this, are made possible by patients that participate in research! Illinois CancerCare significantly contributed to this groundbreaking FDA approval by enrolling 6 patients in the E1912 clinical trial.

Jennifer Anderson, Clinical Research Operations Manager

“NCI sponsored, community based research trials continue to play a major role in progressing cancer treatments forward”, states Illinois CancerCare’s Clinical Research Operations Manager, Jennifer Anderson. “Donations from Illinois CancerCare Foundation help fund our research program. With ongoing decreases in NCI research funding nationwide, our foundation has been instrumental in ensuring that our patients do not miss out on life-changing trials such as this.”

The full press release from ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group can be viewed here.