Microscope | December 2018

Microscope masthead featuring 3 patient images

image of researcher with large microscope

Transformative Research Possible with Your Support

Thanks to loyal donors like you, the Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF) is working hard to help find a cure for blood cancers.

  • This year, the LRF was able to disburse significant monetary support to help develop a novel clinical trial at the Loyola University Medical Center. CAR T-cell therapy, turns a patient’s cells into a “living drug,” and trains them to recognize and attack the disease. Funding for this program will help cut the time for treatment from 12-14 days to less than six, significantly reduce the cost, and increase the purity of the process.

The Leukemia Research Foundation continues to award grants to promising New Investigators who are in the early stages of their careers and are researching new and innovative treatments for blood cancers.

  • These grants allow researchers to pursue imaginative and pioneering lines of inquiry, gather preliminary data and results, and positions them to apply for and obtain additional funding from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). By funding early career scientists, the LRF is energizing the research field with talented, bright New Investigators who have the potential to change our understanding of the causes and treatments of blood cancers. Thanks to you, 12 researchers were awarded nearly 1.2 million in grants this year.
We can do more with your support! Please help the Leukemia Research Foundation fund as many research projects as possible. To donate online, please click here to accelerate today’s most innovative discoveries into lifesaving treatments.

image of two researchers

Research Letters of Intent Now Being Accepted

The Leukemia Research Foundation invites New Investigators, researchers who are within seven years of their first independent faculty appointment, to submit a letter of intent (LOI) for a grant during the 2019-2020 funding cycle. The LRF’s Hollis Brownstein Research Grants Program awards up to $100,000 grants for blood cancer research. New Investigators must follow specific guidelines to submit an LOI by Friday, February 1, 2019 to be considered for an invitation to submit a full proposal. Questions about the LOI and/or the submission process must be submitted in writing to grants@LRFmail.org.

image of Maria E. Figueroa, M.D.

Maria E. Figueroa, M.D.

Epigenetics Research Moves Forward with $5 Million Grant
to LRF-funded Researcher

Maria E. Figueroa, M.D., associate professor, co-leader of the Cancer Epigenetics Research Program at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Health System, earned a $5 million from a major funding organization to continue her research to understand why epigenetics, small chemical changes that regulate the ability of genes to ultimately control cellular function, go awry with age and lead to cancers like acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Doctor Figueroa’s research was funded by the Leukemia Research Foundation in 2012 and that project also focused on epigenetics. Read more about her current research project here.

image of  Lori Hazelhurst, Ph.D.

 Lori Hazelhurst, Ph.D.

LRF-funded Researcher Leads Multiple Myeloma Project

Research to combat multiple myeloma is being led by Lori Hazelhurst, Ph.D., professor (SOP)/co-leader of the Alexander B. Osborn Hematopoietic Malignancy and Transplantation Program at West Virginia University Cancer Institute (WVUCI). Hazelhurst and colleagues are testing a new drug called MTI-101 and how it, when paired with another medication, overwhelms multiple myeloma cells with calcium. Multiple myeloma research at WVUCI is funded by a $11.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read more about this fascinating research here. 

Doctor Hazelhurst’s research was funded by the Leukemia Research Foundation in 2007.



image of town hall meeting crowd

Town Hall Meeting

Register today for the Annual Town Hall Meeting on Blood Cancers, which will be held Sunday, January 20, 2019 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Lisle in Lisle, Ill. A panel of medical experts will answer questions about leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndromes. Whether you are a newly-diagnosed patient currently undergoing treatment, a long-term survivor, or caregiver, this event will give attendees the opportunity to learn about treatment options, side effects and new therapies.

Visit the Leukemia Research Foundation website to see the panel of doctors and register online, or call 847.424.0600.


image of kids party two kids bouncy ball

Come Join Us!

Kids’ Party for pediatric blood cancer patients between ages three and 16 and their families, is on Sunday, January 13, 2019 at the Westin Chicago North Shore in Wheeling, Ill. The free party is from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm and includes brunch, entertainment, arts and crafts, a DJ, and lots of fun! Here’s what families who have attended have to say.

“Kids party is important to us because we get to reconnect with other families to see how everyone is doing, share stories and have a great time together.”

“My child has made a lot of friends and seen kids in the same situation as he is, they have something to bond over.”

“If it weren’t for Kids’ Party, I would not have met all these new friends who have gone through the same things that I’ve gone through.”

Registration is available now on the Leukemia Research Foundation website, or call 847.424.0600.

image of #GivingTuesday daughter and Mom

#GivingTuesday a Great Success

Thank you for your generous donations on #GivingTuesday and throughout the month of November. Your support helped the Leukemia Research Foundation earn a $10,000 match from The Coleman Foundation. Additional contributions continue to come in through social media channels – your help in spreading the word on those channels and in fundraising through Facebook to support our cause is very much appreciated.

#GivingTuesday donations help the LRF fund ground-breaking blood cancer research and provide patient education and support programs throughout the year. Thank you for your continued support of our mission.



December 6
Dads' Chapter
15th Annual Rockin' for a Cure

December 7
Chords for a Cure

January 13, 2019
Kids' Party

January 20, 2019
Annual Town Hall Meeting

January 26, 2019
Joey's Angels Chapter
Joey's Angels Ski Days

February 9, 2019
Joey's Angels Chapter
Joey's Angels Ski Days

February 21 - February 26, 2019
Donald Davidson - Alan Brin
Memorial Chapter
Ski for Research