Finding Cures Starts Here: 25 Years of Innovation and Progress
1995 was a significant year for the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF)—it was then that LRF realized its dual mission: to eradicate lymphoma—by funding innovative research guided by its world-renowned Scientific Advisory Board—and to serve those touched by this disease—by sharing research and treatment insights with the lymphoma community through national education programs.
Finding cures starts here. Through lymphoma-specific research grants and consortia, LRF seeks to understand the nearly 100 subtypes of lymphoma and support the development of new treatments. As a result, LRF-supported researchers have been involved in many of the most significant lymphoma breakthroughs witnessed in the past quarter-century.
25 years of the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s commitment to eradicate lymphoma — 25 years of impacting the lives of all those touched by this disease.
Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) recognized as a subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). In 2003, the LRF MCL Initiative is founded, making LRF the largest private funder of MCL research. The initiative transformed the treatment and care of people with MCL.
The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) forms under the leadership of Dr. Joseph R. Bertino (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey) to advance research in lymphoma. Today, the LRF SAB comprises leading lymphoma experts, nine of whom are former LRF grantees.
(photo credit: Nick Rommenko)
The Lymphoma Research Foundation of America (LRFA) and Cure for Lymphoma Foundation (CLF) merge to create the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF), having funded more than $7 million in lymphoma-specific research collectively.
LRF hosts its first-ever Lymphoma Walk. Since inception, the Team LRF community fundraising program has raised more than $25 million through fundraising walks, rides, and grassroots fundraisers.
The LRF Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) Initiative forms, making LRF one of the largest private funders of MCL – funding more than $25 million since inception.
In an LRF-funded study, researchers discover bortezomib (Velcade) shrinks tumors in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).
Contributions from LRF SAB Chair Dr. Andrew D. Zelenetz (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), SAB member Dr. Barbara Pro (Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University), and past SAB members Dr. Andre Goy (John Theurer Cancer Center), Dr. Owen O’Connor, and Dr. Anas Younes.
LRF SAB member and past Chair Dr. Bruce Cheson and wife Christine Cheson create the Lymphoma Research Ride to raise funds to support LRF’s mission. The Research Ride has raised more than $7 million since its inception.
LRF launches Focus on Lymphoma, the first app that provides lymphoma patients and caregivers lymphoma educational content and tools to manage their lymphoma.
In the span of a single year, the treatment of CLL was transformed – the FDA approves four new treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL): obinutuzumab (Gazyva), ofatumumab (Arzerra), idelalisib (Zydelig), and ibrutinib (Imbruvica). All four therapies are easier for patients to tolerate than prior therapies, making treatment possible for more patients than ever before. In 2015, LRF hosts the first-ever multi-stakeholder workshop, Oral Therapies in Lymphoma to explore implications of oral therapies in lymphoma and CLL treatment.
2014 - 2016
The FDA approves Immunotherapy drugs nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda), helping patients with treatment-resistant Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). In 2016, LRF’s seminal Immunotherapy Response Criteria for Hematologic Malignancies Workshop convenes leading clinicians and researchers to share their experience with immunotherapy agents.
Contributions from LRF SAB members Dr. Stephen Ansell (Mayo Clinic Rochester), Dr. Bruce Cheson, Dr. Leo I Gordon, (Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center), Dr. John M. Timmerman (UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center) and Dr. Margaret Shipp (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute); and Philadelphia Lymphoma Rounds Steering Committee chair Dr. Stephen Schuster (Penn Medicine)
The FDA approves the first gene therapy, CAR T cell therapy, for the treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). In 2003, LRF funds the first-ever study providing in vivo evidence that CAR T cells are effective in an animal model of blood.
Contributions from LRF SAB and advisors including Dr. Nancy Bartlett (Siteman Cancer Center), Dr. Januario E. Castro (Mayo Clinic, Arizona), Dr. Ian Flinn (Tennessee Oncology), Dr. Jonathan W. Friedberg (James P. Wilmot Cancer Institute), Dr. Andre Goy (John Theurer Cancer Center), Dr. Ronald Levy (Stanford Health Care) , Dr. Patrick Reagan (James P. Wilmot Cancer Institute), Dr. Tanya Siddiqi (City of Hope), Dr. Mitchell R. Smith (GW Cancer Center), Dr. John M. Timmerman (UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center), and Dr. Thomas E. Witzig (Mayo Clinic, Rochester)