The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has announced a $5 million commitment from the Sarah Cannon Fund at the HCA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of HCA Healthcare, in support of research on treatments for mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).
One of more than a hundred different types of lymphoma, MCL is a particularly aggressive blood cancer with a short remission to standard therapies and a median overall survival rate of between four and five years. The funding will support two multidisciplinary research teams — one at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City and one at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, California.
At Weill Cornell, a team led by Selina Chen-Kiang, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, is investigating how to improve the efficacy of palbociclib, a therapy that was originally developed for breast cancer and approved for MCL but to which many MCL patients are resistant. At City of Hope, the funding will support a team led by Larry Kwak, vice president and cancer center associate director for translational research and developmental therapeutics and director of the Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center, that is developing new antibody-based therapeutics and exploring their use in combination with CAR T-cell immunotherapy.
"Despite advances in the treatment of MCL, patients with this disease face a challenging prognosis," said LLS president and CEO Louis J. DeGennaro. "LLS and Sarah Cannon share a commitment to advancing therapies for patients facing blood cancers and providing access to the latest treatments close to home. We know considerably more about the molecular basis of MCL now compared to ten years ago, and we have the potential to further accelerate new treatment options through these research efforts for MCL patients."