Robert (Bob) W. Levis · A patient's perspective
After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in metallurgical engineering from Grove City College and a Master of Science degree in materials science and physics from the University of Illinois, Bob joined Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., in 1975. He held various positions as an applications development engineer at the Allentown, Pennsylvania, corporate headquarters.
In 1979 he was assigned to Brazil as manager of Applied R&D, with Air Products Gases Industriais Ltd. The four-year experience in Brazil led to other overseas business assignments including five years each in Japan and Taiwan, where he managed Air Products’ gases and equipment business through joint venture companies in these countries.
In June 1999, Bob was named Vice President & General Manager for Air Products Asia where he oversaw the company’s gases and equipment business in Southeast Asia. This executive responsibility was expanded in 2002 as V.P. & General Manager for the company’s largest division in Asia, based in Singapore for a total of eight years.
Bob is currently consulting through Asia & Brazil Connections, LLC with small and medium sized U.S. enterprises on Asia and Brazil market entry opportunities including ABEC, Inc (biopharmaceutical engineering and equipment manufacturer) where he was employed during 2011/2012 as Director, Asia Business Development.
Bob was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) in 2002. He continued to “watch & wait” until 2008 when he moved back to the U.S. and underwent FCR (fludarabine, cytoxan, rituxan) treatment for his CLL. He maintained a complete remission for 3+ years when his CLL relapsed to the most aggressive 17p del form. Bob enrolled in a Pharmacyclics trial (ibrutinib vs. ofatumumab) at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, and was randomized to the ofatumumab arm. The ofatumumab treatment did not stop the progression of his CLL and he was denied crossover access to ibrutinib.
Facing death while alive on hemoglobin and platelet transfusions, he enrolled as one of the early experimental trial participants at Penn Medicine for Dr. Carl June’s CAR-T therapy. He received his genetically modified T-cells on March 12, 2013 and was in complete remission for another 3+ years. A second CAR-T therapy during 2017 at Penn Medicine reduced the CLL in his bone marrow to < 5.0 %. Now Bob maintains normal blood labs while on the oral kinase inhibitor, ibrutinib.
Bob and Carl June have become friends helping others to overcome their blood cancers. Bob remains an avid sportsman and competitor while consulting on patient advocacy initiatives. Google “Bob Levis Leukemia” for various media coverage of his CAR-T experience.Back to Schedule