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Advancing Research; Seeking Cures

Posted by DrLouDeGennaro in The LLS Blog, 29 October 2014 · 811 views
blood cancer, leukemia, myeloma and 7 more...

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At a time when federal grant funding is in serious decline, I am proud to share an update on new research funding provided by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

LLS recently awarded more than $16 million in grants to help advance more than 35 promising blood cancer research projects. These grants support a wide range of projects in academic centers throughout the world, and our goal is to advance multiple approaches to tackling the challenge of improving outcomes for blood cancer patients.

All of the programs we are funding serve to address unmet medical needs and help fill funding gaps that prevent promising, novel ideas from moving forward and ultimately getting to patients who desperately need new options.

We recently announced awards in three different grant programs.

The Translational Research program (TRP) helps move promising research, quickly, from the laboratory into the clinic. Our funding helps get these projects either closer to, or into clinical trials where their effectiveness in treating patients can be tested. LLS is celebrating 20 years of awarding TRP grants. Over that time we have invested more than $230 million and have helped numerous renowned researchers advance therapies that are saving lives today.

The 26 newly awarded projects will help advance understanding of several under-researched areas of serious unmet medical need-including seeking improved therapies for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, lymphoma and high-risk myeloma. Others are seeking therapies for patients with T-cell lymphoprolifrative disorders – patients whose bodies are producing abnormal levels of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the body’s immune system.

Our New Idea award supports researchers whose novel ideas to date, have been untested, but if proven efficacious, could take research in a new direction and fundamentally impact the future of blood cancer diagnosis and treatment. Six newly funded researchers are attempting the kind of pioneering approaches that are too early (and therefore too risky) to receive funding from federal agencies. It will be exciting to see which of these ideas can really take flight!

Finally, four new Screen to Lead grants are designed to help researchers turn their compounds into drugs that can be studied in blood cancer patients. The Screen to Lead program also funds researchers who are conducting “screens” of drugs to determine whether they might be effective in inhibiting the development and proliferation of cancer cells.

LLS recognizes that research is a long-term commitment. In fact, some of today’s most exciting therapies – life-saving medications such as targeted therapies for patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma -- were advanced thanks to our translational research grants going back to 1995. Our hope is that tomorrow’s advances coming out of the work we fund today will save the lives of even more blood cancer patients --helping to bring us closer to achieving our vision of a world without blood cancers.

You can read more about the new grant awards here, here and here.

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