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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Calls for Blood Cancer Research Program at the Department of Defense
Date:6/18/2009

WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- George Dahlman, senior vice president of public policy for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), testified today before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Defense Appropriations, calling for funding for a dedicated, stand-alone blood cancer research program at the Department of Defense (DoD).

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has determined that several blood cancers, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), lymphoma and multiple myeloma, are associated with exposure to chemical and biological agents from the Vietnam and two Gulf Wars. IOM has identified the need to begin a special research program that is responsive to the needs of military personal and veterans.

LLS specifically called for the funding of a collaborative public-private effort between the U.S. Military Cancer Institute, LLS and a blue ribbon panel of scientific academicians.

The USMCI has over 9 million electronic medical records detailing the health histories of service men and women and their families. The military also has serum and tissue specimens from these individuals stored as a routine step in their health care. These records and samples, together, provide a unique base that can power blood cancer research relevant to the military environment and lifestyle in a way that is not possible for any other population.

"A joint effort, tapping the expertise of both USMCI and LLS, represents a unique opportunity to identify valuable research opportunities and state-of-the-art technology that can address significant questions on the origins and diagnosis of blood cancers," according to Dahlman.

"DoD research on blood cancers addresses the importance of preparing for civilian and military exposure to the weapons being developed by several hostile nations and to aid in the march to more effective treatment for all who suffer from these diseases," Dahlman sa
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SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
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