To be disbursed over five years, the funds will be used to establish an endowed chair, recruit scientists and research fellows, create a patient registry and tissue bank for hematologic malignancies, and establish a Patient Assistance Fund to help low-income cancer patients pay for medications, transportation, and other expenses.
Since 1998, the foundation and the Dresner family have committed more than $10.4 million to the institute. The foundation was established by Vera and Joseph Dresner, who was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome in 2002 and treated by Charles A. Schiffer, head of the multidisciplinary malignant hematology team at Karmanos. In 2010, the Dresners made a $5 million donation in honor of Schiffer to create the Joseph Dresner Family Clinic for Hematologic Malignancies & Stem Cell Transplantation. Joseph Dresner passed away in 2012.
"This grant will help recruit additional physicians with unique research skills to help bring new clinical trials and treatment options for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, leukemia, and other blood cancers, enhancing the critical work being done at Karmanos," said Schiffer, who will serve as the first Joseph Dresner Chair for Hematologic Malignancies. "It will support the creation of a tumor tissue bank for research purposes and the data management resources to correlate the research findings with clinical outcomes."