The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is proud of our long history of supporting the work of Brian Druker, M.D., Director of OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health and Science University. Druker is a world-renowned researcher with a proven track record of success in revolutionizing the treatment of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Early on LLS saw the potential of Druker’s pioneering work, and invested at a time when others were skeptical of taking a risk on a drug with limited market size. LLS funded his early breakthrough studies proving the anti-leukemia activity of a novel enzyme inhibitor now known as Gleevec®, and later the clinical trials that led to the accelerated FDA approval of the drug that is now that is now saving countless lives of patients with CML and helping patients with other cancers as well. In recent years Druker has turned his attention to AML and other types of leukemia, and through our Specialized Center of Research program, LLS has continued to support his work.
LLS features Druker in this video, posted on the LLS.org video gallery, in which he talks about how the early funding from LLS helped him at a critical juncture in his research, when he was trying to translate a laboratory discovery to clinical application. Druker concludes by saying that when people ask him where they should donate their money his answer is simple: “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the best investment of your funds; LLS is making an impact and accelerating progress.”
The video can also be viewed on our YouTube Channel.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was founded in 1949 by Rudolph and Antoinette de Villiers, who had recently lost their 16 year old son to leukemia. Since then, LLS has been driven by the de Villiers nearly boundless belief that leukemia and other blood cancers could be cured. From its inception, LLS been helping to shape the ever-shifting paradigm of cancer research and drug discovery. More recently, we have been laser-focused on driving research in areas of unmet medical need, while helping to bridge the gap from academic discovery to drug development.
We launched our Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP) in 2007, as a strategic initiative to forge partnerships with academic research institutions, and with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, to speed the development of blood cancer therapies and bring help and hope to patients as quickly as possible.
To showcase TAP and its critical role in finding treatments and cures for blood cancers, we produced a series of films featuring a cast of key LLS research staff and executives. In a series of vignettes, we hear from the TAP team as they explain how LLS is helping companies and research institutions with novel compounds, biologics or diagnostic devices overcome bottlenecks and advance these projects through the drug development pipeline.
As always, our goal is to bring us closer to cures, today.
You can view the main TAP video here.
If you regularly recycle your plastics, papers and glass, you know they can be re-used for new purposes. You might be unaware, however, that smart research scientists can also recycle drugs, re-purposing them to treat other diseases.
In a partnership with the University of Kansas and the National Institutes of Health, LLS is testing auranofin, an arthritis drug, to treat patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The collaboration is part of an aggressive effort to get new treatments to patients faster. Because the drug in this project was already FDA approved, scientists were able to move from animal studies to a Phase I trial for blood cancer patients in just one year! Helen Anbinder beat her CLL into remission twice thanks to a treatment developed by an LLS-funded researcher who her family supported. When her leukemia recurred a few years later, another new medication was waiting in the wings. Helen again credited LLS. "Research was progressing so quickly that I was able to be treated with a new drug combination that wasn't even available two years earlier." Researcher collaborations, novel combinations and new uses for existing drugs all give hope to people like Helen. And forward-thinking people like you who invest in research give hope to all cancer patients. If you haven't made a donation, please consider one, not someday, but today. Gratefully, John E. WalterPresident & CEO PS. We would like to honor every patient living with a blood cancer with a donation. Please donate in honor of one now.