The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Just Picked Up New Funding For Research

According to an article from, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) obtained new funding for cancer research thanks to a donation from The Sarah Cannon Fund, which is part of the HCA Foundation. The funding is specifically meant for researching treatments for mantle cell lymphoma, a rare and deadly non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a cancer of the blood the affects B cell lymphocytes. There is still some debate as to what causes this form of lymphoma; it comprises only about six percent of non-Hodgkins lymphoma cases and there are only about 15,000 patients in the United States. Mantle cell lymphoma is not often detected until the disease has reached an advanced stage. Some symptoms include night sweats, unexplained weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes, and fever. The digestive system, liver, and bone marrow may also be affected. The five year survival rate for MCL stands at fifty percent. The is no standard treatment for this cancer and it frequently relapses. The more the cancer relapses, the more difficult it becomes to treat. To learn more about this disease, click here.

The funding amounts to a total of $5 million that will be directed to a couple of research programs that are currently ongoing. Louis DeGennaro, the current president of the LLS, says that the new funding is urgently needed, as the prognosis for MCL is still poor despite recent developments in treatment. Sarah Cannon and the LLS are frequent collaborators and both share the same mission of fighting blood-based cancers. The group has been an annual sponsor of LLS fundraising efforts for the last three years.

One of the research teams, working at Weill Cornell Medicine, is investigating the use of palbociclib as the viable treatment option for MCL. This treatment is already in use for breast cancer. The research is focusing on tests either as a single treatment or in combination with another drug called ibrutinib. Ibrutinib has already been cleared for use against MCL, but remission periods are often brief. The cause of this is not yet understood. Another research program is currently investigating new immunotherapy type treatments for MCL.

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