Microscope | June 2017

We Can Fund More Research with Your Help 

The Leukemia Research Foundation's (LRF) Medical Advisory Board will meet on June 10 to review New Investigator research grant applications and make their funding recommendations. The LRF will fund as many New Investigators as possible, based on our fundraising success as of June 30. 

Numerous research projects are submitted to LRF by New Investigators, blood cancer researchers who are beginning to establish their own laboratories and are no longer under the tutelage of a senior scientist mentor.

Here are some examples of LRF New Investigator Research Grant recipients who have been working toward substantial discoveries.

  • Leonardo Salmena, Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, is conducting research to understand how a specific biomarker impacts the health of cancerous stem cells in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). An enhanced probe of the biomarker could lead to the creation of new therapies to treat AML.
  • Bruno Paiva, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Scientific Coordinator of the Diagnostic Laboratories of the University of Navarra in Spain, is an LRF-funded researcher studying multiple myeloma, specifically, how to overcome chemoresistance.

Read more about these and other LRF-funded researchers on the LRF website.

You can help advance the work of many dedicating their lives to curing blood cancers. Please make your generous gift today to Fund a Grant. Your gift might be the one that funds a breakthrough in blood cancer treatment. Don’t delay. Please donate today!


Research Grant Submissions to be Evaluated

Funding blood cancer research is the LRF’s preeminent purpose, established more than 70 years ago in response to a loved one diagnosed with leukemia and a loving aunt’s desire to help in any way she could.

The LRF’s Medical Advisory Board (MAB) will meet in Chicago on June 10 to review the applications submitted this year and make its recommendations for funding to the LRF Board of Directors. Led by Chairman Dr. Patrick Stiff, Director of the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center of Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., the MAB is made up of distinguished physicians and researchers from leading medical institutions who review each grant application, using a process that is similar to that used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The LRF provides research grants of $100,000.

Researchers funded by the LRF publish their results to inform the scientific community about their findings. Often their initial results are used to obtain grants from larger, multi-year funding sources - thus furthering their research and potential for finding a cure, in addition to launching scientific careers. More information about the Hollis Brownstein Research Grants Program, including current and past research grant recipients, can be found on the LRF website by clicking here.

Targeting Pediatric ALL

The “achilles heel” of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is in the sights of Panagiotis Ntziachristos, Ph.D., from the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University. His research project, titled Therapeutic Targeting of the Oncogenic Methylation-ubiquitination Crosstalk in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, focuses on a specific epigenetic enzyme that is active in ALL with the goal of suppressing it. His research project is currently being funded by the LRF.

Learn more about Dr. Ntziachristos’ research project on the LRF website. See more about this breakthrough research and the LRF’s role in it by watching this video.


Treatment Options for Blood Cancer Patients Conference

The 13th Annual Treatment Options for Blood Cancer Patients Conference, an informational and educational program specifically designed for blood cancer patients and their families, was attended by close to 200 people on May 20. Medical experts presented detailed data, trends, and insights. The last hour of the program featured an “Ask the Experts” panel. The Conference, hosted in partnership with Loyola University Health System and the National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match, was videotaped for the first time. The sessions are available for viewing on the LRF website. Click here for details.

Many thanks to the presenting medical experts and sponsors who make the Treatment Options for Blood Cancer Patients Conference possible.

Road to a Cure a Big Success

LRF’s newest program Road to a Cure: The Latest Developments in Blood Cancer Research, was attended by nearly 100 people at Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook, Ill. on May 3. Attendees learned about the latest progress in the pursuit of the causes and cures for leukemia from Nancy Zeleznik-Le, Ph.D., Hematology/Oncology Professor and Interim Co-Director of the Oncology Research Institute at Loyola University Medical Center.

Dr. Zeleznik-Le presented information and updates about leukemia research including mixed lineage leukemia (MLL), which she is currently conducting at Loyola, as well as touched on acute and chronic leukemias, lymphoma and multiple myeloma. The program was made possible in part by the David Wortman Memorial Fund, created in memory of David Wortman, who lost his battle with acute myeloid leukemia in July, 2000.


ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk Starts Thursday, June 15

The 23rd Annual ABC 7 Jim Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk will take place on Thursday, June 15 in Chicago’s Grant Park. This is a premiere event for the LRF. Registration is still available at www.Gibbons5K.com.

Here are some details to help make the Gibbons event a convenient and fun experience for you.

Pre-event Packet Pick-Up
Pick up your runner/walker packet at Fleet Feet Sports Chicago – South Loop Store at 150 W. Roosevelt Road in Chicago on Sunday, June 11 from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. or Tuesday, June 13 from 12:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Gear Check
There will be space available to store backpacks, briefcases, purses, etc. on site. Gear check is open from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Kids Tent
There’s an area especially for kids to do craft projects and other fun stuff before and after the run/walk. The area opens at 4:30 p.m.

Run Start
Broadcast live on ABC 7 Chicago starting at approximately 6:25 p.m.

Walk Start
The Walk will start at approximately 6:35 p.m.

Musical Entertainment
This will be provided by Daily Special and begins at 7:30 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you June 15 in Chicago!


Surviving CLL with help from the LRF

Joseph Bogg is a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) survivor from Mokena, Ill. He was diagnosed in 2000 with high aggressive prognostic indicators for the disease. Mr. Bogg first started therapy in 2006, successfully reaching remission which lasted until relapse in 2014. The second therapy unfortunately included a host of complications that required about eight months of treatment. Currently Mr. Bogg is in remission and stable.

Mr. Bogg is a regular attendee of LRF’s Patient Education Programs and has been for many years. We asked him a few questions about his experiences with our programs.

How did you become aware of the LRF's Patient Education Programs?

“It was 2007 when I first became aware of the LRF Programs. Early on, much was presented on bone marrow transplants (BMTs). I wanted to learn. As an engineer, I needed to understand more about my disease so that I could have intelligent dialog with my doctors. In my research I ran across information about LRF and followed up by attending conferences.”

How long have you been attending LRF's Patient Education Programs and which ones have you attended?

“I first began attending LRF programs in March of 2007. I have continued to attend programs since that time and have only missed a few. Some early programs were mostly about BMTs. I like the current programs with Town Hall Meetings in January and Treatment Options for Blood Cancer Patients Conference in May.”

Do you find the Patient Education Programs helpful?

“I find the Patient Programs very helpful for many reasons.

  1. You are given opportunities for ask questions.
  2. The presentations are informative with current information regarding your disease.
  3. The handouts and internet follow-up provide useful hardcopy review tools
  4. You can talk to the doctors before the program, during breaks, and at the end.
  5. You gather information to discuss with your oncologist.
  6. At some conferences I have been able to meet others with my disease and talk.
  7. I learn about new therapies, drugs, clinical trials, successes, and failures.”

Can you provide an example of how information shared at one of the LRF Patient Education Programs helped with a problem or a conversation with your oncologist?

“Early on, after learning about BMTs and my disease, the programs allowed me to discuss options with my doctor. I learned that, for my diagnosis, a BMT is not very useful and is extremely risky for my type of leukemia and is generally used only as a last resort. I did learn about different types of BMTs, and that currently with the drugs available, it is still not recommended.

I learned what other doctors had to recommend for second and third therapies. This offered me information to discuss with my oncologist before proceeding with therapies. Especially useful was information regarding emerging drug therapies.

Would you recommend the LRF to others?

“Yes. If you want to learn about your disease, what is current for treatment, trials, etc., these are great programs. The materials are good, and the information will provide you with useful information to discuss with your oncologist. These programs help to ensure that you and your oncologist will be current.”


June 10
Medical Advisory Board
Research Grant Application Review

June 15
ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk

June 29
Donald Davidson-Alan Brin
Memorial Chapter
Ski's to Tee's Golf Outing

July  21
Joey's Angels Chapter
Angels in the Fairway Golf Outing

July  22
John & Tony's All Day Fundraiser
with the Nicholas Orjuela "Little Lefty" Memorial Chapter

July 30
Jessica Shayne Magid "Chai"
Memorial Chapter
Zumbathon for Leukemia Research
Let it Move You Toward a Cure

August 4 - 6
14th Annual Kingfish Shootout
Carrabelle, Florida

September 9
6th Annual Fall Fishing Festival

September 17
71st Annual Medical Awards Luncheon

September 30
Steve "Grimey" Grimes Memorial Chapter
2nd Annual Nite Capper Ball
St. Louis

February 8-13, 2018
Donald Davidson-Alan Brin
Memorial Chapter
Ski for Research

Visit our website to view more upcoming events.

We will continue to keep you apprised of our noteworthy achievements. Please visit us on social media for regular updates.

Thank you again for your incredible support. You make our work possible. Stand for life. Fight for life. Give for life. #LRF4LIFE.



191 Waukegan Road, Ste 105

Northfield, IL 60093

Office: 847.424.06