A Periodical for the Sarcoma Community

Letters to the Editor - December 2008

Call for Participants: Synovial Cell Sarcoma

The Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute has developed a new treatment for patients with Synovial Cell Sarcoma. This treatment involves a new approach to immunotherapy which takes advantage of the patient’s own immune system to treat the disease. In this treatment, normal lymphocytes (circulating blood cells) are removed from the patient, genetically modified to enable them to attack the cancer, and then large numbers of these cells are returned to the patient. We have recently begun this trial and have already seen promising results. 

Eligibility for this trial includes only patients who express the tissue typing molecule, HLA-A*0201 (present in approximately 50% of individuals), and whose tumor expresses the NY-ESO-1 tumor antigen (about 80% of patients with synovial cell sarcoma). Some patients with sarcomas other than synovial cell sarcoma may also be eligible

We are now actively seeking patients for this clinical trial. We will perform the tests for eligibility at our expense. There is no charge for treatment at the National Cancer Institute.

To refer a patient please contact:

June Kryk or Linda Williams
Immunotherapy Referral Office
CRC,Room 2-1730
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD   20892           
Telephone: (301) 451-1929
Fax:  (301) 451-1927
E-mail:  [email protected] or [email protected]

Thank you in advance for your help in attempting to find new treatments for patients with this difficult disease.


The Abigail Alliance

The Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs a 501 (c) (3) has always been very small financially, but big in what we do.  We are currently struggling to stay afloat financially, just as we get closer to our biggest victory for patients fighting for their lives, the ACCESS Act.  Donations to the Abigail Alliance would be greatly appreciated.

The Abigail Alliance is dedicated to helping create wider access to developmental cancer drugs and other drugs for serious life-threatening illnesses. We continue to be the rallying point for individuals and organizations that understand and agree with our work for much needed change.

A direct result of the efforts of the Abigail Alliance’s seven years of hard work on behalf of patients fighting for their lives is the Access, Compassion, Care, and Ethics for Seriously Ill Patients Act (ACCESS Act S.3046 H.R.6270) which is moving forward in the U.S. Congress. 

The Access Act creates a new approval mechanism called Compassionate Investigational Access (CIA) for patients who can't wait. Patients receiving a CIA drug must suffer from a serious or life-threatening disease, be out of approved options and unable to gain access to a clinical trial, provide informed consent, and allow the collection of clinical data from their experience with the drug so we will all know more about the safety and efficacy of new therapies before they are approved for wider use.

The Access Act also improves the FDA's accelerated approval mechanism that has helped to preserve the lives of HIV/AIDS sufferers, but has never been adequately applied to other serious diseases like cancer.

An effort the Abigail Alliance started in 2001 has made another stride forward recently; getting ALL companies to post their clinical trials for cancer and other serious life-threatening illnesses on  Additionally of late working with the FDA the Alliance has succeeded in improving patient representation on FDA drug and vaccine advisory committees.

Over the past seven years the Abigail Alliance has chalked up other accomplishments that have helped many.  I hope you will help keep our efforts going with a contribution to the Abigail Alliance.