Microscope | March 2018

Microscope masthead featuring sisters and friends


image of Zhiqiang Qin, M.D., Ph.D.

Zhiqiang Qin, M.D., Ph.D.

LRF-funded Researcher and Team Receive $10 Million
New Innovator Award

Congratulations to Zhiqiang Qin, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology at Louisiana State University Health New Orleans, who is part of a team of researchers that received a five-year, $10 million New Innovator Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The grant will be used to study virus-induced cancers, including a type of lymphoma. Read more about the Award by clicking here.

Doctor Qin was funded by the Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF) in 2016 for a research project titled Targeting Spingolipid Metabolism in AIDS-related Lymphomas. Read more about that project here.

image of John M. Cunningham, M.D.

John M. Cunningham, M.D. 

Video: CAR T-cell Therapy for Treatment of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

A member of the LRF’s Medical Advisory Board is featured in a video about the revolutionary CAR T-cell Therapy and its use in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It details how this personalized immunotherapy is helping pediatric patients being treated for ALL. Click here to view the video on the Comer Children’s Hospital website.

The LRF’s Medical Advisory Board is an independent, volunteer board comprised of prominent and qualified M.D.s and Ph.D.s with expertise in blood cancer research. The Board convenes annually to review the grant applications submitted by New Investigators who are seeking funding for their projects from the Hollis Brownstein Research Grants Program.

image of two blood cancer researchers

Research Grant Full Proposals Due March 20

New Investigators who have been invited to submit full research proposals have until Tuesday, March 20 at 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time to submit completed applications to grants@LRFmail.org. Application information is available on the LRF website.

Letters of Intent that were submitted by the deadline (February 1) were assessed to determine a match between the LRF’s goals and the research project anticipated outcomes. Applications for the 2018-2019 funding cycle will be reviewed by the LRF's independent Medical Advisory Board in early June. Applicants will be notified by June 30.



image of Road to a Cure audience

Dr. Justin Kline Featured Presenter at 2nd Annual
Road to a Cure

Doctor Justin Kline, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine, is the featured speaker on the latest research developments in lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) on Wednesday, May 2 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Cancer Wellness Center, 215 Revere Drive in Northbrook, Ill. In addition, Dr. Kline will discuss important aspects of treatments as well as advances that will directly impact patient care. His research was supported by the LRF in 2010.

Admission to the program is free and refreshments will be served. Online registration is available now at www.allbloodcancers.org/road-to-a-cure, or call the LRF at 847.424.0600. This program made possible in part by the
David Wortman Memorial Fund.


image of Treatment Options Conference audience and speaker

14th Annual Treatment Options for Blood Cancer
Patients Conference

Online registration is available now for the 14th Annual Treatment Options for Blood Cancer Patients Conference by clicking here. The free Conference is a groundbreaking opportunity for patients, family members and caregivers to learn about the latest advances in blood cancer research, treatment and care from leaders in the field.

The Conference is on Saturday, May 19 at the Hyatt Regency Lisle, 1400 Corporetum Drive, in Lisle, Ill. from 7:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. Admission, parking, continental breakfast, and lunch are included.

image of hands giving-receiving gift

Future Planning and Your Legacy

A few years ago, a very sweet, long-time donor informed us of her plans to name the LRF as a beneficiary in her will. She did not want to make a big fuss about this but said she would like the money to be used for research. She had been living with lymphoma for many years and lived her life to the fullest. Attending the annual Medical Awards Luncheon with her family was a highlight for her and she was thrilled to learn of the new scientists coming into the field and their efforts to find cures and better treatments. She said she couldn’t think of a better legacy than supporting innovative science. We were honored she included the LRF as part of her legacy.

Is the LRF already in your will, trust or other estate plans? Thank you! Please let us know about your plans because it helps the LRF plan for the future. Call 847.424.0600 or email Cindy Kane and she will add your name to the Legacy of Hope. Your gift may remain anonymous, if you like. 

If you don’t have a will, you’re not alone. Now is a great time to start planning. Click here for “bequest language.” LRF’s tax ID number is 36-6102182 for you to share with your attorney.

Image of Gibbons 5K winner waving

Register Now for the 24th Annual ABC 7 Gibbons
5K Run and 3K Walk

Running and walking season is here. As you comb through the closet for the running shoes, shirts and shorts (and possibly rain gear), don’t forget to pull out your phone or log onto your laptop and visit www.Gibbons5K.com to register for the 24th Annual ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk on Thursday, June 21 in Chicago’s Grant Park. The top three male and female runners receive commemorative medals, as will the top three male and female finishers in each age category. All runners and walkers can earn great premiums by raising money for the LRF via online fundraising pages and everyone will enjoy a great evening in the park with live entertainment and food on site.

Join us by running, walking or volunteering to help find a cure for all blood cancers. #TogetherItIsPossible


image of Ralph Reinholtz

Ralph Reinholtz

First-time Attendee Finds LRF Patient Education Program Informative and Reassuring

Ralph Reinholtz was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) in 2014. His condition has been stable since 2014 and his treatment currently involves blood work every two to three months and watching for any changes.

What is your diagnosis and how was it discovered?

"I have MDS, which means my bone marrow does not produce enough platelets, red and white blood cells for my body. I went to my internist for a regular, annual physical at which were run the usual blood tests. The results came back less than normal so the tests were run a second time and the result was the same, low platelet, red and white blood cell counts. I was referred to a hematologist/oncologist who did the blood tests again and did a bone marrow biopsy before diagnosing me with MDS in 2014. During the entire time leading up to the diagnosis I felt no symptoms whatsoever."

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

"My wife Adrienne and I read the Chicago Tribune every day and one morning she saw an advertisement that the LRF was going to have a Town Hall Meeting and MDS is one of the topics that is going to be discussed. I said let’s call and sign up and see what it’s all about. So we did. That was the first time I learned about LRF and the first meeting we attended was in January, 2018."

Did you find the Town Hall Meeting helpful?

"I thought the Town Hall Meeting was so very informative. The program gives you the most up to date information on what is going on related to different types of blood cancers and you get to listen to other people with the same types of blood cancers you have and through the same experience you’re going through. Of course you don’t want to wish anything on anyone but it is reassuring to know that you’re not going through MDS alone. You get to hear of different types of treatments that are available and you get different ideas that you can discuss with your own doctor. It gives you hope that there is so many dedicated doctors working on treatments and hopefully a cure someday in the future."

How has information you got at an LRF program helped with visits
to your oncologist?

"I have had many conversations with my own doctor about the course of treatment that is available to me if my MDS gets to a point that I will need to begin treatments. But being at the Town Hall Meeting, I was able to ask the panel of doctors a number of my own questions that they answered and I will be able to share with my oncologist as we progress in treating my disease."

Would you recommend the LRF to others?

"I would highly recommend LRF to anyone who has blood cancer or a blood disorder. It gives you a renewed feeling of hope knowing that you are not the only one out there with your problem. There is so much support and also lets you know of other facilities that are available if you need a second opinion about your disease. I also very much appreciate the doctors who give their time to talk to patients at a forum like that. We look forward to attending the Treatment Options for Blood Cancer Patients Conference on May 19."

Any other comments you’d like to share about your experience with the LRF?

"Everyone I met at LRF was so understanding, so nice, so kind and helpful, you leave with a renewed feeling of hope and understanding that there are so many doctors that are working for you to try to make your quality of life better and to give all of us more time with our families and loved ones."



APRIL 14, 21 and 28
Phillip "Poppie" Gaston Chapter
Gaston Family Bowl


May 2
2nd Annual Road to a Cure


May 6

Jessica Shayne Magid "Chai" Chapter

Zumbathon for LRF


May 19
Treatment Options for
Blood Cancer Patients Conference

May 19
Phillip "Poppie" Gaston Chapter
The Best of Music Benefit Concert

June 21
ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk

August 3-5
Kingfish Shootout
Carrabelle, Florida

August 10
Joey's Angels Chapter
17th Angels in the Fairway Golf Outing


Visit our website to view more upcoming events.

We will continue to keep you apprised of our noteworthy achievements