21 April 1997
we are investigating the molecular nature and possible new treatment modalities for Chronic MyeloMonocytic Leukemia (CMML). As you probably know, some CMML patients harbor an hybrid TEL/PDGFR gene in their leukemic cells. We have identified from the fusion region of TEL/PDGFR (as well as from >other fusions) several peptides containing Class I binding motifs for common HLA specificities. Our plan is to analyze their binding ability using several HLA transfectants, and then to use them in vitro to induce a T-cell specific response. As a parallel study we are using several small molecules able to inhibit the kinase activity of ABL and PDGFR. We developed an assay to evaluate the activity of these compounds on fresh leukemic cells, without the need for using growth factors or clonogenic assays. CMML however is a rare disease and such a study can be successfull only if samples can be obtained from several centers. We therefore ask your collaboration in sending us samples from untreated CMML patients. Frozen cells obtained from the peripheral blood or the bone marrow (minimum 40 x 10E6) would be ideal. Alternatively, a 30 ml peripheral blood or a (5 ml) BM sample (collected in a sterile, heparinized tube and stored at 4 C° for no longer than 24-48 hours) could be used.
I Thank you in advance for your help and cooperation.