In Jon Christoffersen’s house, important occasions - such as the end of chemotherapy - are worthy of great celebration. First it was a tattoo to mark the beginning and end of his treatment, and now, on his 10-year anniversary of being cancer free, it’s time to party.
A house party complete with toast in his honor and a “%&#%$# Cancer” cake marked the occasion in December for Christoffersen, who had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when he was a teenager. He's now 29. Although he never needed a bone marrow transplant, he and his wife, Kelly, were aware of how important that option is for many survivors and included a representative from Be The Match. They told their guests how easy it was to be a marrow donor and the only people who didn’t sign up were those who were too old, had an extreme needle issue or a pre-existing blood condition.
While Christoffersen appreciated the party, he noted that it doesn't take much for him to remember his cancer experience as he had his first and last dates of chemo tattooed on his left forearm.
Auto Club Speedway Teams up with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Orange County Inland Empire Chapter is excited to announce a new partnership with Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Auto Club Speedway, California’s premier motorsports facility, is geared up to support LLS by hosting a series of fundraising events throughout the coming year.
Auto Club Speedway continues to be involved in making a difference in the local community, and the driving force behind their partnership with LLS is the close connection blood cancer has had on the Speedway family.
In April 2014, vice president of operations, Ray Wilkings’ very own daughter was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). She has since received a bone transplant from her mother, Darlene Wilkings, and is now leading a normal life with no sign of cancer.
Marking another promising advance for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, including those with a rare subset of this blood cancer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted priority review for an investigational compound that has shown positive results in a Phase II clinical trial.
Venetoclax has shown great potential as a new way of treating CLL patients who have received at least one prior therapy. It also appears to be effective for patients with a rare subset in which a piece of chromosome 17 is missing. Venetoclax works by inhibiting the BCL-2 protein and enabling a signaling system that tells cells, including cancer cells, to self-destruct.
More than 126,000 patients in the U.S. currently live with CLL, a typically slow-moving blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow. Of those CLL patients who do not respond to therapy, or who have relapsed, approximately 30 percent are found to have a mutation in which they are missing part of chromosome 17.
A Priority Review designation is granted to medicines that the FDA believes have the potential to provide significant improvement in the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a disease. The compound was granted a Breakthrough Therapy Designation in April 2015 in order to expedite its development and review.