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“My breast cancer diagnosis opened my eyes to the fact that we could be doing more to treat cancer patients holistically. Therapists have a role to play in helping them get the rest of their lives back.” Sue Paul went on to launch a research project in 2015 focused on balance, funded by a Foundation grant. Still ongoing, the study explores where and why balance issues occur, as well as how and when to target treatment. “The Foundation is ahead of the curve in funding projects like this. They care about quality of life issues, and they’re willing to reach out and grab the expertise of others in our community.” Continue Reading

Sue Paul

Over the past three years, Jody Scott of Morton has battled cancer in multiple forms, but she’s never let it get her down. And when times were tough around the holidays, volunteers from the Foundation’s Trust in Hope program made her life a bit easier. “I was just beside myself when they came and brought a full Thanksgiving meal. They touched my soul.” Continue Reading

Jody Scott

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.