Over the past couple of days I have posted details of the Imiquimod trial that we intend conducting in Bournemouth this autumn.
The idea for this trial was Chaya Venkat's and it seemed to me a very good one. Rather than try another combination of chemotherapeutic agents that would make patient's immunity worse, we decided to attack one of the problems that patients have difficulties with, namely respiratory infections. Why patients with CLL are immunodeficient is not clear, but one possiblity is that their dendritic cells don't work properly. Imiquimod is drug that is already licensed that works by stimulating dendritic cells.
There have been problems in getting the study going, and teh main one is in securing a quantity of flu vaccine. Apparently there is a national shortage in the UK. then there are the regulatory authorities. Wow! There are so many perverse incentives to not bothering with trials and just going ahead without evidence.
Anyway we hope to start work soon. We have had generous funding from CLL Topics Inc. and we hope also from the UK CLL Support Association.