Lymphoma expert to speak at cutaneous lymphoma conference in Manhattan Beach

Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown to outline new treatments and clinical trials

June 15, 2017
Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown is a UC Irvine Health hematologist-oncologist who specializes in the treatment of lymphoma.
Lauren Pinter-Brown, MD, is a UC Irvine Health oncologist is a national expert in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of lymphomas.

UC Irvine Health blood cancer specialist Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown, one of the nation’s foremost experts in all types of lymphoma, will be a key speaker at the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation’s annual patient conference in Manhattan Beach on June 24.

The free, two-day conference — to be held June 24-25 at the Manhattan Beach Marriott — gives cutaneous lymphoma patients (CL) and their families a chance to learn about the latest treatments, therapies and clinical trials directly from physicians, nurse practitioners and other CL experts.

Pinter-Brown, a blood cancer expert at the UC Irvine Health Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, will give two talks about cutaneous T-cell lymphoma on Saturday, June 24. In her morning presentation, she will provide an overview of the latest in diagnosis and staging of the cancer. In the afternoon, she will discuss current research and clinical trials that are underway at the cancer center in Orange.

Cutaneous lymphomas are malignancies of the white blood cells that primarily affect the skin. The most common is cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, also known as mycosis fungiodes (MF), a name dating to the 1800s that reflects its mushroom-like appearance in advanced stages of the disease.

This relatively rare disease affects about 30,000 people in the United States, with about 1,500 to 2,000 new cases diagnosed each year in North America, according to the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation. It can present as red, scaly patches or plaques that initially may be mistaken for eczema, psoriasis or chronic dermatitis.

"CL tends to occur in older people, but little kids can get the disease, younger people can get the disease, and it tends to be more aggressive in African American patients," said Pinter-Brown, who is a professor in the UC Irvine School of Medicine's Division of Hematology/Oncology.

While there is no known cause, she said Vietnam War veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange have developed mycosis fungiodes. People with abnormal immune systems also have a higher risk of developing the disease.

There is no known cure. "CL is a chronic and progressive disease, so we are always looking for treatment options that allow people to live longer and be comfortable," Pinter-Brown said.

She is currently conducting early-phase clinical trials on drugs that offer promise in slowing the progression of the disease. One tests the drug MRG-106, which can alter how DNA is read at the cellular level with the aim of blocking the growth and survival of the cancer cells. Another trial tests a PI3 kinase inhibitor called RP6530, which blocks cell division.

"These trials represent very promising studies and there may be additional ones coming soon as well,' she said.

In fact, because of promising new drugs that have been developed in recent years, "very early-stage patients have a really excellent prognosis," she added. "We hope that with the development of new drugs, we can improve the prognosis of patients with late-stage CL."

The conference begins at 9 a.m. on both June 24 and June 25 at the Manhattan Beach Marriott, located at 1400 Parkview Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. Register at www.clfoundation.org/2DayLA or call 248-644-9014, ext. 4.

 

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