The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has announced eighty-seven grants totaling $46 million in support of research aimed at advancing treatments and a cure for cancer.
The grants will fund research at medical institutions around the world in the areas of translational research, therapy acceleration, and drug discovery. To that end, Specialized Center of Research grants of $5 million over five years were awarded to multidisciplinary collaborations teams led by Stephen Nimer (University of Miami), whose team is studying how to target epigenetic abnormalities in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS); Robert Orlowski (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston), whose team is developing immunotherapeutic approaches aimed at preventing precursor diseases from progressing to full-blown myeloma as well as targeted treatment approaches for patients with high-risk myeloma subtypes; and Andreas Strasser (Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia), whose team was instrumental in discovering a way to harness the body's own normal processes in fighting chronic lymphocytic leukemia and is developing approaches to address other forms of leukemia as well as lymphoma and myeloma.
In recent months, two LLS-supported CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell immunotherapies were approved by the Food and Drug Administration; the latest grants include support for seventeen immunotherapy projects, with a focus on the next generation of CAR T-cell and other immunotherapy approaches. LLS also awarded twenty-three grants focused on precision medicine — a targeted approach to finding the right drug for the right patient at the right time — and, through its Career Development Program, thirty-six grants totaling more than $10 million in support of the next generation of scientists.
"As a patients-first organization, LLS is uniquely positioned to convene academic researchers, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and the government to work together toward the common goal of accelerating treatments and cures for the 1.3 million people in the United States living with a blood cancer," said LLS president and CEO Louis J. DeGennaro. "We are seeing extraordinary progress in blood cancer research, but with one-third of blood cancer patients still not surviving five years past their diagnoses, we clearly have more work to do. The research we invest in today could be the next cure, helping make 'someday' today for more cancer patients."
For a complete list of grant recipients, see the LLS website.
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