As Part of Its More Aggressive Tack, LLS Offers Big Research Money

These days, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is known as one of the most proactive organizations addressing the needs of cancer patients with unmet medical needs. But it wasn’t always this way. Once, the LLS was a quieter, advocacy-based organization focused on raising awareness. In recent years, though, the organization has been traveling down a more proactive track. "I can honestly say I'm closer to delivering therapies for patients in my current role than when I was at a big pharmaceutical company," Louis DeGennaro, Ph.D., its president since last year, has said. "The survival rate for blood cancers has doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled—depending on which disease—in the last 30 years. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has been a great part of that."

And in keeping with this proactive approach, the LLS is offering quite a tasty and ambitious bunch of grapes. One of its currently open grant opportunities offers $600,000 over three years for researchers in six areas with high-priority unmet medical needs. Nice, right?

According to the RFP, the LLS Translational Research Program exists to help accelerate the movement of promising discoveries from lab to clinic. To that end, LLS wants to encourage academic research, especially in those areas where progress has lagged:

  • defining genetic/molecular predispositions to long-term and late-term effects associated with standard therapies in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia and applying this information to improve patient outcomes;
  • the development of novel therapeutic strategies for patients with noncutaneous T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders;
  • the development of novel targeted therapies with real curative potential for CLL patients;
  • the development of novel treatment strategies for MDS patients for whom hypomethylating agents have failed;
  • the development of  novel targeted therapies for patients with high-risk myeloma
  • the development of new-targeted therapies for indolent lymphoma patients.

Applicants have to hold an MD or Ph.D. or equivalent degree and work in a nonprofit, university, college, hospital, or lab. They may be American citizens, or internationally based. Applications may involve multiple institutions, and the applicant should have an independent research or academic position. Letters of intent must be received by February 17, so the deadline is coming up fast. See the RFP for more information.

Meanwhile, there's a half dozen other grant opportunities offered by LLS. And while only one is still accepting LOIs right now, there's always next year.