2016 CLLSA Southampton Members Conference

We do not stand alone - we have others with CLL, family and friends together with experts in the condition to help us



Tuesday 12th July 2016,
10:00 – 16:00 hours
The Grand Harbour Hotel,
West Quay Road,
Southampton,SO15 1AG


There were four presentations videoed at the meeting given by the team in Southampton. We hope you find them useful. We are very grateful for the time the team took to help create this valuable resource for members of  the CLL community in the UK and Worldwide.

Thanks to the blood cancer and support charities who attended the meeting 


Dr Francesco Forconi MD, DM, PhD, FRCPath Associate Professor in Haematological Oncology, Honorary Consultant in Haematology

"CLL – diagnosis, management, treatment and outcome in the new era with kinase inhibitors"

Dr Francesco Forconi stresses the importance of patients in helping the research team at Southampton to development improvements to treatments and to the quality of life for patients.


His talk starts with an overview: Diagnosis of CLL. why so many are on watch and wait, What is CLL? How CLL is diagnosed. How diagnostic tools have improved and the identification of prognostic and predictive characteristics became possible. How the CLl cell of origin and the characteristics of the immunoglobulin genes are significant as prognostic and predictive information that aid in understanding potential different clinical courses.

Dr Forconi goes on to explain the significance of immunoglobulin expression on the surface of a CLL cell, among other tests.

Fitness of a patient has historically determined the treatment that a patient can tolerate.  The new treatments like ibrutinib and venetoclax now in use by patients unable to tolerate, who fail or are unsuitable for treatment with chemoimunotherapies and alternatives, are proving to further improve survival. Patients are now providing data that can potentially further improve how CLL is treated into the future. The ongoing research into this data and use of these drugs by many at Southampton and centres around the globe will we hope continue to generate improvements into the quality of life and survival of patients with CLL.

Dr Sean H. Lim MBChB, MRCP, PhD, FRCPath Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant in Haemato-oncology

"Treatment of CLL with old and new Monoclonal antibodies"

Dr Sean H. Lim talks about how treatments are changing. Giving some examples of the current antibody research being carried out at Southampton, starting with a brief introduction to how monoclonal antibody therapies work and are targeted, how treatment response rates have improved since their introduction and addition to chemotherapy. Southampton and world researchers are looking at methods to further improve these treatments by preventing cancer cells from internalizing the treatment which reduces its efficiency..

Dr Lim compares the performance of two monoclonal antibody therapies rituximab and obinutuzimab that target CD20 on the B cell surfaces and provides an outline of Southampton research which is reducing resistance to rituximab response through inhibition of CD20 internalization.
A rituximab + inhibitor combination is being assessed in first human clinical trials this year (2016).

Professor Jonathan Strefford BSc., PCCC, PhD Professor in Cancer Molecular Genetics

“The genetic landscape of CLL"

In this talk Professor Jonathan Strefford gives us a basic overview of CLL genetics, how advances in this area of research are helping understanding of CLL, improving disease management and patient care....

Genetics are clinically important in the choice of therapy, determining how patients might respond to a specific treatment and help to predict outcomes.

Professor Freda Stevenson MSc, DPhil, FRCPath, FMedSci, Professor of Immunology

"The history of CLL from analysis of the tumour immunoglobulin characteristics"

Professor Freda Stevenson is a pioneer of research that led to the discovery and understanding of the significance of mutated and unmutated immunoglobulin VH genes in CLL as a prognostic indicator.  We are taken on a historical journey in this video: Starting with the identification of B-cells and a greater understanding of antibodies. Then on through the significant advances in understanding of genetics (DNA), surface immunoglobin of the CLL cell and  how this is enabling the tailoring of new CLL treatments that target cell signalling pathways.  

Professor Stevenson has been involved in the initiation and establishment of research into lymphoma for which the University of Southampton is now widely recognized. She pioneered the use of immunogenetics to probe the origin and behaviour of B-cell malignancies and she is the author of >250 papers. A particularly important paper, identified in the Focus on Haematology section of Blood, described how the immunoglobulin gene status in cases of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) acts as a major prognostic factor. The paper has been cited >1500 times and the findings are having a significant impact on the management of this disease. It has led to drug targeting of immunoglobulin signalling pathways which are inducing remissions in a wide range of patients.

In 2015, she was awarded the Rai-Binet medal for her work on chronic lymphocytic leukaemia by the International Workshop on CLL. https://www.southampton.ac.uk/medicine/about/staff/fs.page