The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) continues to lead the charge to cancer cures through its aggressive research investment; the organization announced it has committed an additional $46 million to fund the most innovative science at leading medical institutions around the world, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, City of Hope in Duarte, California, and the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia. LLS has invested more than $1 billion in cutting edge cancer research in its nearly 70-year history.
As advances in technology have enabled scientists to learn more about what drives cancer, and why some people respond to treatment while others don’t, this research investment will help achieve cures faster. Already a leader in innovating with precision medicine, particularly with its groundbreaking Beat AML® Master Trial, a multi-center, multi-drug clinical trial in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), LLS will now fund 23 new grants for this targeted approach to finding the right drug for the right patient at the right time. Further, to advance the revolutionary therapies that harness the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, LLS will fund 17 new immunotherapy projects.
Also among the 87 new research projects are novel ways to address myeloma and AML. Multiple new therapies have been approved for myeloma in the past few years, but the disease remains incurable. And after a 40-year drought, four new therapies for AML were approved in recent months, but the need remains dire. LLS also continues to make a significant investment in fostering the early careers of the next generation of scientists, with 36 new grants in its Career Development Program.
These new grants bring LLS’s total active research portfolio to 254 grants, more investment in blood cancer research than any non-profit agency or government agency outside of the National Institutes of Health.
According to Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS’s president and CEO, “There is never a good time to get cancer, but it’s a phenomenal time to be fighting it. LLS is doing more than any cancer non-profit to advance the next generation of blood cancer treatments and cures and, in doing so, we are helping patients with other cancers and chronic diseases. Already in 2017, the FDA has approved 13 new blood cancer treatments or new indications, and LLS has supported virtually all of them. Our long-term vision and investment is paying off in our impact for patients.”
As part of its ambitious research agenda, LLS continues to invest approximately $10 million annually in its venture philanthropy initiative, TAP, or Therapy Acceleration Program®, through which the organization partners with biotechnology companies to accelerate development of novel therapies through clinical trials. In 2017, LLS saw two of its partnerships result in FDA approvals – one for the revolutionary chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy approach for patients with relapsed large B-cell lymphoma, and the other for a novel combination therapy for AML patients. Another TAP project, a therapy for patients with a rare blood cancer called blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm, is poised for FDA review in coming months after showing positive high response rates in clinical trials. Since its inception in 2007, the TAP program has accelerated dozens of projects from preclinical work into clinical trials where the therapies are being tested in patien ts.
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.