May Is National Cancer Research Month

Advanced cancer research can take many twists and turns, and sometimes an approach that’s been discounted by others proves to be surprisingly fruitful.

John C. Byrd, MD, of The Ohio State University – a long-time grant recipient of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – started to research the effectiveness of a drug called ibrutinib on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in 2009. While many experts predicted his approach would not be effective, clinical trials showed unprecedented response rates.

As a result, ibrutinib was approved for patients with relapsed or refractory CLL in 2014. But the story continues! A study last year by an LLS Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) team, led by Tom Kipps, MD, UCSD, resulted in FDA approval of ibrutinib as a front-line treatment for CLL patients.

As these examples illustrate, grants from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) are leading to real breakthroughs, not only extending patients’ lives, but also improving their quality of life. It’s also worth noting that many treatments developed as a result of past LLS funding are now being used for non-blood cancers and other serious diseases.

In celebration of National Cancer Research Month, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) shared these examples of promising cancer research. National Cancer Research Month (#NCRM17) recognizes the importance of cancer research and the contributions of researchers, physician-scientists, survivors, and patient advocates across the United States who are dedicated to the conquest of cancer.

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