Researcher Spotlight: Peter Riedell, MD

Washington University in Saint Louis

 

Dr. Riedell’s Lymphoma Clinical Research Mentoring Program (LCRMP) project focuses on mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Noting that recent research has indicated Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors (such as ibrutinib) have recently shown encouraging activity and safety in MCL patients, Dr. Riedell is investigating the integration of a new BTK inhibitor with standard MCL treatment, which frequently includes chemotherapyTreatment with drugs to stop the growth of rapidly dividing cancer cells, including lymphoma cells.Treatment with drugs to stop the growth of rapidly dividing cancerAbnormal cell growth that cannot be controlled by the body's natural defenses. Cancerous cells can grow and eventually form tumors. cells, including lymphoma cells. followed by an autologousA type of bone marrow or stem cell transplantation in which a patient receives his or her own cells.A type of bone marrowSpongy material found inside the bones containing stem cells that develop into three types of cells: red blood cells that deliver oxygen to the body and take away carbon dioxide; white blood cells that protect the body from infection; and platelets or stem cell transplantation in which a patient receives his or her own cells. stem cell transplant. “My research builds on this platform and investigates whether combining the BTK inhibitor ACP-196 with traditional chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplant can improve outcomes in patients with MCL,” Dr. Riedell says. “I am particularly interested in how we can improve on the management of mantle cell lymphoma through incorporating new targeted therapies into our standard treatment approaches.”

Dr. Riedell was drawn to a career in oncology after losing his grandfather to myelodysplastic syndrome and colon cancerAbnormal cell growth that cannot be controlled by the body's natural defenses. Cancerous cells can grow and eventually form tumors. when Dr. Riedell was 13. After developing an immediate interest in hematologic malignancies as a medical student at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Dr. Riedell selected lymphoma as his focus during his fellowship at Washington University in Saint Louis (where he also completed his residency). “I became particularly attracted to the disease as it afflicts patients of all ages and walks of life, over a period of many years, and thus allows me to the opportunity to build long-term and meaningful relationship with my patients,” he notes. “It was this mix of patient care, clinical trials, and research that was very influential in my decision to pursue lymphoma clinical research.”

Dr. Riedell hopes to become an independent academic clinical researcher specializing in the treatment of aggressive lymphomasLymphomas that are fast growing and generally need to be treated immediately. Also called intermediate-grade or high-grade lymphomas.Lymphomas that are fast growing and generally need to be treated immediately. Also called intermediate-grade or high-grade lymphomas., particularly in evaluating novel targeted therapies and immunotherapies. He sees his participation in the LCRMP as a step towards that goal. “The Lymphoma Research Foundation program will help to make me both a better doctor and clinical researcher. The program will provide me with a strong foundation in lymphoma clinical research and aid in the development of my clinical protocol.” As he prepares to move to his first faculty position at The University of Chicago in fall 2016, Dr. Riedell remains inspired by the strength and courage of his patients. “It’s through their battles with lymphoma that I am reminded of the work that still lays ahead in the treatment of this disease.”