John P. Leonard, MD
My research interests are directed toward improving outcomes for patients with lymphoid malignancies through the development of novel treatments. A major focus has been the evaluation of new monoclonal antibody therapeutics, and our group has studied most of the anti-B cell agents in the clinic. This work includes the clinical development of epratuzumab (anti-CD22), as well as clinical trials of rituximab (anti-CD20), Iodine-131 tositumomab (radiolabeled anti-CD20), galiximab (anti-CD80), bevacizumab (anti-VEGF), and anti-CD30. Demonstration of the safety and activity of these agents has resulted in their subsequent evaluation in phase II and III trials, including National Cancer Institute cooperative group studies with the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) evaluating “combination antibody” or “combination biologic” approaches for B cell malignancies. This class of agents has improved survival for lymphoma patients over the last decade, and our work has led to larger ongoing international studies that aim to further enhance patient outcomes in the future. Additionally, we have assessed novel treatment approaches in myeloma, evaluated the role of functional imaging in the management of lymphoma patients, and provided new insights into prognosis and outcomes of patients with specific lymphoid malignancies including mantle cell lymphoma. Our current collaborative work also includes translational studies which are assessing novel therapeutics directed against epigenetic, signaling, immune, and vascular pathways in the treatment of lymphoid cancers. We continue to pilot novel treatment approaches in limited scale translational studies, which can then lead to larger studies providing a broader evaluation in greater numbers of patients.