UCLA and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Host Blood Cancer Lecture Series


UCLA Health and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) have partnered to generate awareness about emerging therapies for blood cancer. In 2018, more than 1.3 million people in the United States were living with a type of blood cancer.

Because there are no preventive strategies for blood cancer, the LLS works hard to ensure anyone who receives a blood cancer diagnosis gets accurate and timely information. UCLA and LLS want patients to feel confident in their treatment decisions and empowered to advocate for themselves or a loved one.

Closer to a Cure lecture series

Through the “Closer to a Cure” community lecture series, UCLA physicians are visiting communities across Southern California to educate participants. The lectures, moderated by Leila Evangelista from LLS, provide the most up-to-date information about blood cancers, cancer research and therapies. Types of blood cancers include:

The lectures are livestreamed and recorded for later viewing. To date, we’ve completed four lectures:

Blood Cancer 101: What you need to know

In Blood Cancer 101, UCLA cancer doctors Gary Shiller, MD and Patricia Young, MD joined social worker Rebecca Pittenger to discuss:

  • The different types of blood cancers
  • The causes and symptoms of blood cancers
  • The latest diagnostic tests and tools
  • Emerging treatments, including clinical trials
  • The value of having the support of a cancer social worker

Advances in Treatments of Blood Cancers (including immunotherapy)

UCLA oncologist Herbert Eradat, MD, talks about the latest immunotherapy advances for blood cancers in the second lecture in the series: Advances in Treatments of Blood Cancers. The lecture provides viewers with:

  • A review of the services LLS offers, including patient and family education and support
  • A broad overview of how blood cancers replicate and harm the body
  • New therapies in the pipeline, including precision medicine and immunotherapies
  • How the treatments work to destroy blood cancer

Multiple myeloma

In the third lecture, UCLA oncologist Sarah Larson, MD, discusses multiple myeloma. Treatment advances have increased survival rates significantly for the 30,000 new cases diagnosed each year. She provides viewers with:

  • Disease background
  • The phases of treatment, including medications, stem cell transplant and maintenance drugs to keep the disease in check
  • How to test for minimal residual disease (how many myeloma cells remain after treatment)
  • Emerging therapies including daratumumab, which stimulates the immune system to kill diseased cells, and CAR T-cell therapy
  • Current research surrounding newly diagnosed multiple myeloma and disease that recurs

CAR T-cell therapy

UCLA oncologist Joshua Sasine, MD, PhD, addressed the latest CAR T-cell advances for blood cancers. His lecture covered:

  • What CAR T-cell therapy is and how it changes the cancer treatment landscape
  • The science behind this advanced blood cancer treatment
  • The process and experience for a patient
  • What’s on the horizon when it comes to CAR T-cell therapy for blood cancer

Upcoming Closer to a Cure lecture

UCLA and LLS have planned one additional lecture this year for the Southern California region:

DLBCL and follicular lymphomas

In her talk, UCLA oncologist Monica Mead, MD, will give a broad overview of the diseases and also cover emerging therapies including clinical trials. The event will be held November 6, 2019 from 6 to 7:30 pm at the WeSpark Cancer Support Center in Sherman Oaks, CA. You can register for the event and attend in person or online.

Learn more about the Closer to a Cure lecture series. If you need a provider, learn more about our services at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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