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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and The International Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia Foundation Partner to Develop Cell Lines to Advance Research
Date:7/6/2009

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and The International Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF) have partnered in an initiative to develop stable and immortalized Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM) cell lines that would be made widely available to researchers to test potential new treatments for the disease.

WM occurs as low-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, characterized by B-lymphocytes in the bone marrow, and an abnormal level of the protein monoclonal immunoglobulin M (IgM). Though the disease is slow-growing, a curative treatment has yet to be developed. Cell lines are invaluable in understanding the genetics and biology of cancerous cells. The development of a biologically stable and satisfactorily representative WM cell line will enable researchers throughout the world to test their latest ideas on bio-identical cells and thus compare their results with those of other researchers.

Researchers agree that new cell lines are urgently needed as it is widely understood that the three most used existing WM cell lines may not accurately represent the disease.

"Numerous scientists studying WM report that one of the barriers to finding a cure is the lack of a standardized WM cell line," said LLS Chief Scientific Officer Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D. "Together, LLS and IWMF are committed to seeing this critical asset developed in a way so as not to fundamentally change the cellular and functional characteristics of the original tumor, and thus enable researchers to better understand the unique aspects of WM biology and advance more effective treatments for WM patients."

Under the agreement, LLS and IWMF will seek applications and select up to three laboratories to co-fund for up to $100,000 for one year. Continued funding, potentially for up to two additional years, will be contingent on available funds and assessments of progress t
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SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
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