Research Supported

The research that the Friends of Jason Gould Foundation has chosen to receive the benefits of the 2010 fundraising is the post transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) related work being done at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

PTLD is caused by the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) which also causes “mono”. In an immune suppressed transplant patient, the virus can “escape” immunity and cause a very aggressive form of lymphoma with a high mortality rate. When such a lymphoma occurs in bone marrow or solid organ transplant patients who are on immune suppression medicines, the disease is called post transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). EBV is the virus that caused Jason’s PTLD.

Dr. Michael Caligiuri, Dr. Rob Baiocchi and their team of research scientists are passionately committed to developing treatment and prevention strategies for PTLD. Over the last year, their team has grown and produced several exciting findings including an effective treatment for patients with primary brain PTLD and discovery of additional risk factors that may help doctors identify transplant patients who will be at highest risk for developing PTLD.

Work to prevent PTLD has dealt primarily with the development of an EBV vaccine. The vaccine would be given to transplant patients prior to transplant to prevent this horrible complication caused by this cancer inducing virus. OSU has partnered with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society Therapy Acceleration Program and a pharmaceutical company to manufacture the first EBV vaccine of its kind. The first batch of vaccine has been synthesized and has been shown to work to enhance the immune systems ability to recognize EBV and kill EBV+ lymphoma cells. Tests in preclinical models of PTLD are currently underway. Dates have been targeted for meeting with the FDA and clinical trials are being designed. This vaccine will be made available to transplant centers to prevent PTLD. Funding is needed to complete this work and move it through the approval process before this much needed vaccine can be made available to patients at transplant centers.

The Friends of Jason Gould Foundation (FJGF) has supported the above research. The following reports will be published over the next several months:

  1. Treatment strategy for primary central nervous system PTLD (FJGF contributed funds to support pathology studies on tumor biopsy samples to help clarify how the treatment worked).
  2. Identification of risk factors that predispose patients to develop PTLD (FJGF contributed funds to support molecular biology materials used to discover these risk factors).
  3. Vaccine strategy to prevent PTLD (FJGF supported this work by purchasing supplies to aid in completion of important experiments clarifying how this vaccine helps boost immunity).
Importantly, Friends of Jason Gould Foundation will be listed as a source of funding on each of these publications. Copies of each article, as they come out in press, will be sent to you for circulation to all supporters of the Foundation.