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This profile was last updated on 6/28/05  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Larry Herrera

Wrong Dr. Larry Herrera?
 
Background

Employment History

Education

  • M.D.
Web References
Scott & White Memorial Hospital - Central Texas
www.sw.org, 28 June 2005 [cached]
Dr. Larry Herrera works with Cristina Herrera, Ph.D., in his research laboratory at Scott & White.
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"We're moving away from the 'magic bullet' concept," Scott & White physician-scientist Dr. Larry Herrera explained.
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"Now is the time for us to make another real advancement in treating children's leukemia and not rest on what we've done," Dr. Herrera said."We need to stop saying, 'Look at the advancements we've made' and start asking ourselves, 'Why aren't we curing 100 percent of these kids?' It's possible.So why aren't we?"
From Bench Research to Bedside Treatment
During Dr. Herrera's five years at Scott & White, his work has evolved from bench to bedside.First he and his research team cultivated actual leukemia cells in the laboratory to test the antibodies.Then they successfully used these antibodies to treat leukemia in mice."The antibodies could be used with chemotherapy, still the 'gold standard' treatment, to enhance and strengthen its beneficial effects," he explained.In turn, physicians could use less chemotherapy, which resulted in fewer adverse chemo reactions among patients."We have already shown that antibody therapy can help sick children go into remission and be well enough to undergo bone marrow transplants."
Funded by a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Herrera and his team of physicians and scientists are conducting Phase I studies to determine appropriate dosages of antibody therapy for patients who have exhausted all other treatments.
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"Here we are, possibly curing some of these kids," Dr. Herrera added.
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Dr. Herrera expects three more study phases to follow, each expanding the numbers of patients and the scope of the trial.Dr. Herrera and Scott & White hope to create antibodies that can be available to children worldwide, and Dr. Herrera is confident that this research will eventually be applicable to adults.It could also lead to greater understanding of acute myelogenous leukemia, T-cell leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Dr. Frankel's arrival in Central Texas is good news for cancer patients of all ages.He sees Scott & White, with its vast clinical expertise and its large patient volume, as the ideal place to transform basic science research into active clinical treatment in the shortest possible time.
"This partnership will help us translate what is happening in the laboratory and bring it right where physicians successfully treat patients," Dr. Herrera added.
Jeanette Williams Foundation for Children Cancer Research
www.jwffccr.org, 12 Oct 2004 [cached]
"We're moving away from the 'magic bullet' concept," said Larry Herrera, M.D., Scott & White physician-scientist.
...
"Now is the time for us to make another real advancement in treating children's leukemia and not rest on what we've done," Dr. Herrera said.
...
Funded by a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Herrera and his team of physicians and scientists are conducting a Phase I studies to determine appropriate dosages of antibody therapy in patients who have exhausted all other treatments.
...
"Here we are, possibly curing some of these kids," Dr. Herrera said.
...
Dr. Herrera expects three more study phases to follow, each expanding the numbers of patients and scope of the trial.Dr. Herrera and Scott & White hope to create antibodies that can be available to children worldwide.Dr. Herrera is confident that this research will eventually be applicable to adults.
...
"This partnership will help us translate what is happening in laboratory and bring it right where physicians successfully treat patients," Dr. Herrera added.
...
Larry Herrera, M.D., part of the pediatric oncology team at Scott & White, has developed a l cancer research program for children with leukemia who are no longer responding to chemotherapy.After completing fellowships in pediatric hematology/oncology cancer research, Dr. Herrera came to Scott & White to develop the program, which is focused on the development and testing of investigational antibodies to treat relapsed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).In part of his research, Dr. Herrera has found that two immunotoxins (antibodies linked to toxins) can kill leukemia cells, and that these are even more potent and specific than chemotherapy.
"We want to understand the effect of immunotoxins and antibodies on tumor cells," said Dr. Herrera, the study's principal investigator."We have found that these antibodies can cause tumor cells to stop dividing, and in essence kill the cells.We want to know how to increase that effect."
Dr. Herrera added that his research also focuses on finding ways to use these antibodies in conjunction with or even instead of chemotherapy.
Currently, Dr. Herrera is conducting a Phase I study for children with leukemia who have not responded to chemotherapy or other treatments.The goal of this phase is to determine the safety of the antibodies.About 15 to 20 children are expected to be enrolled in the study during the next three to four years.
In addition to Scott & White, the Children's Hospital and Clinic in Minneapolis, the University of Texas Southwestern, and Morris Clinics in Florida are participating in the study, with Dr. Herrera leading the activities and coordinating results for all.
"I really feel this treatment is the future," Dr. Herrera said."I foresee that many cancers that are currently treated with chemotherapy can be treated with antibody therapy.I believe these kids can be cured.
DR. HERRERA - PEDI ONCOLOGY GRANT
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It's a fight that many say can never be won, but one local physician-scientist is doing all he can to make sure it can be beaten.Larry Herrera, M.D., a pediatric oncologist at Scott & White has dedicated his professional life to finding another cure for childhood leukemia, and the research he is doing is putting him on the right track.
Dr. Herrera has developed a cancer research program focused on the development and testing of investigational antibodies to treat relapsed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).Dr. Herrera has found that two immunotoxins (antibodies linked to toxins) can kill leukemia cells, and these immunotoxins are more potent and specific than chemotherapy.
During the past year and a half Dr. Herrera has seen wonderful results, and he's not the only one who has noticed the progress.Recently, Dr. Herrera was given $500,000 to support his research efforts.
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"The donation from Mr. Hughes has given our project a much needed boost," Dr. Herrera said.
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Currently, Dr. Herrera is conducting a Phase I study for children with leukemia who have not responded to chemotherapy or bone marrow transplants.The goal of this study is to determine the safety of the antibodies.So far, six children have been treated and four have responded.One child did achieve a complete remission.
"We have been very pleased with the results, but not completely surprised," Dr. Herrera said."I've always known this could be a viable treatment, and the results we are seeing so far are very exciting.You don't normally see results such as these in a Phase I trial, and to have achieved a remission is just wonderful."
Dr. Herrera says his goal is to treat 20 children in the Phase I Study, which he hopes to complete over the next year and a half to two years.
In addition to Scott & White, the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, Children's Hospital and Clinics in Minneapolis, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Emory University and Nemours Children's Clinics in Florida are participating in the study.
Dr. Herrera, who has also received a grant from the National Institutes of Health, says after the Phase I trial is finished, Phase II will focus on finding the best way to combine the antibody-based agents with chemotherapy, thereby attacking the cancer with two very different therapies at one time.But while his research continues, Dr. Herrera says his project is always in danger of being cut short.
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology - Scott & White - Central Texas
www.sw.org, 11 Dec 2007 [cached]
A team of researchers led by Larry Herrera, M.D., is conducting basic and translational research that is examining the safety and efficacy of two novel antibodies in combination for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia in children.
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