Message from Dr. Leonard with New Lab Discoveries – Fall 2016


As you know, immunotherapy is the latest cutting-edge type of therapy for cancer. When Dr. Dan Saltzman came into the lab 20 years ago, we decided chemotherapy was too toxic and that we should embark on a newer type therapy using the immune system as a means of killing cancer. We used the salmonella organism and engineered it be non-toxic. It migrates to the liver, spleen, lungs, intestines including the colon, and the lymph nodes of each. We have demonstrated it to be effective for killing cancer by inserting a gene cytokine, Interleukin-2, by genetic engineering. This cytokine, when entering the tumor, releases natural killer and T8 cells which by immune response reduces the tumor volume. All this was carried out without toxicity.

We also have found that there are two genes in tumors that work against the immune system and we have made antibodies against these genes to enhance tumor killing.

Also, an important advance has been to recognize that the type of experimental work using what is called a transplantation model, where tumor is inserted under the skin and the agent is used to kill the tumor, is not the best way to experiment with the immune system or any other form of tumor therapy. This is not the way tumors grow in humans. We have thus instituted what is called the autogenous type of experimental model, where the tumor grows from one cell and expands, and is thus akin to the human growth of tumors. We have proven by experiments that the autogenous system is the most efficient means of tumor eradication because of its similarity to human cancer development.

We have also recently felt that we should see if adding chemotherapy to our genetic engineering construct would decrease the toxicity of chemotherapy and add quality of life to the patients. We have demonstrated preliminarily in the laboratory that 1/4th of the chemotherapy added to our genetic engineering construct has as much killing power as 90-100% of chemotherapy.

We are continuing work in the laboratory in this direction and are requesting funds for this project. Contributions can be sent to the address below or donated online now at Donations are 100% tax deductible and I will send a personal acknowledgment letter to anyone you designate a gift donation to, in honor of birthdays or holidays.

We are quite enthused about this latter quality of life issue and I look forward to discussing this with you and how it relates to our needs at the present time. Thank you very much for your interest in this cutting edge cancer research, and thank you if you have already contributed to the fall fundraiser. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions, at any time.

Sincerely Yours,

Arnold S. Leonard, M.D., Ph. D.