LLS has invested more than $750 million in research. With advisory input from recognized biomedical research experts, LLS funds exemplary projects across the entire research continuum relevant to improved outcomes for blood cancer patients, from basic laboratory science to clinical trials. Research funded by LLS has led or contributed to such advances as chemotherapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation and new, targeted oral therapies such as Gleevec®.
Awarding of Research Grants
The process for reviewing and selecting grants helps ensure that funded research has a strong likelihood of producing significant results. At the heart of the process are leaders in the field of hematological oncology who volunteer their time and expertise through service on the Society’s Medical and Scientific Review Committee. In a triaging system modeled on procedures set by the National Institutes of Health, they review grant applications, debate their merits and reach consensus on which projects to recommend to the organization’s National Board of Directors for final approval. From approximately 700 applicants per year, LLS selects only the top 15-20 percent for funding. LLS supports the differentiated transforma¬tional research that industry or government does not have the means to support and in which risk may be high, but success would provide dramatic benefits for patients.
The Research Grant Program is designed to encourage promising and talented researchers to pursue careers that focus on the prevention, cause and treatment of blood cancers.
Specialized Centers of Research (SCOR) grants encourage collaborative work by teams of researchers with different areas of expertise, and often at multiple institutions to further accelerate new therapies for blood cancer patients. Each grant is committed for a five-year term at $1.25 million annually and $6.25 million in total for five years.
Translational Research Program (TRP) grants underwrite projects that accelerate laboratory discoveries into new and better therapies for patients, translating knowledge “from bench to bedside.” Grants are $200,000 annually for three years. A grant can be renewed for two years with a successful clinical trial.
Career Development Program (CDP) grants support scientists in basic or clinical research. These funds encourage scientists to work in blood cancer research and help populate the field with the best and brightest young scientists. Significantly, for the first time in 35 years, federal support for basic and translational research has fallen. Blood cancer researchers are looking to LLS to fill the gap. Full annual grant support is as follows: Fellows are $55,000/yr (3-year grant); Special Fellows in Clinical Research are $65,000/yr (3-year grant); Scholars/Scholars in Clinical Research are $110,000/yr (5-year grant).
Disease-Specific Portfolios include prime examples of grants to talented young researchers whom our expert advisors deem most likely to make basic science and clinical discoveries that will produce new blood cancer treatments and diagnostics.
Just as you rely on input from advisors to design your financial investment portfolio, you can invest in blood cancer research that is vetted by LLS biomedical advisors. These prestigious experts help LLS identify the most promising research projects and personnel in line with evolving scientific opportunities and medical needs.
Contributions of $10,000 or more may be directed to any one of nine disease-specific research portfolios. Projects within each pool span all aspects of research that are critical to improving outcomes for patients. The available portfolios are:
- Pediatric blood cancers
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Acute Myelogenous Leukemia / Myelodysplastic Syndrome
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
- Hodgkin’s disease
- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma - Indolent
- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma - Aggressive
- Myeloma / Waldenström Macroglobulinemia
Donors have the satisfaction of knowing that 100 percent of their donation is invested fully in blood cancer research – nothing is used for LLS overhead. And benefactors stay abreast of research advances with annual progress reports and timely news of scientific and medical breakthroughs. Of critical importance, LLS donors help support research that is likely to improve the lives of patients in the near term.
The Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP) is a strategic LLS initiative launched in 2007 with $4 million in seed funding. This program promises to address the bottleneck in early phases of developing drugs. TAP forms collaborations with non-profit, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and government institutions to increase the likelihood that novel -- and possibly breakthrough -- treatments will be made available to patients as soon as possible. Detailed information about current TAP projects is available from Donor Development chapter liaisons.
TAP encompasses three innovative elements:
- The Academic Concierge Division helps with Food and Drug Administration applications and/or compliance for academic investigators both inside and outside LLS’s biomedical research grants.
- The Clinical Trial Division provides help with accruing patients, trial design, oversight and Food and Drug Administration filings to provide greater access to clinical trials.
The Biotechnology Accelerator Division collaborates with the private sector to provide funding to develop selective viable compounds that show promise as blood cancer treatments.