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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Knight Cancer Institute Launch Groundbreaking Collaboration to Improve Outcomes for Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients
Date:9/17/2013

build an extensive biological map of the disease using their functional genomic approach. Researchers involved hope this enormous data set will lead to identification of potential new drug targets as well as novel combinations of drugs. The goal of the  project is to move this information rapidly into the clinic by matching patients with treatments that target their leukemia more precisely.

Druker's research, which has received significant support from LLS, has already revolutionized treatment of another form of leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

"Now we hope to do for patients with AML what has been achieved with CML:  Take a blood cancer that was, with few exceptions, a death sentence, and enable patients not only to survive, but to enjoy a longer, richer quality of life," LLS President and Chief Executive Officer John Walter said. "The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is focused on finding cures and ensuring access to therapies for all blood cancer patients and our priority is to employ the best science to help us address critical unmet medical needs, which is why we are partnering with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, a leader in developing targeted cancer medicines, and Brian Druker's team, whose track record of success is second to none."

Druker helped prove it was possible to shut down the mutations driving cancer without harming healthy cells, helping to usher in the era of personalized cancer medicine with molecularly targeted therapeutic approaches. The drug Gleevec®, which was developed out of Druker's early research, is now among one of dozens of similar drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Gleevec changed the average life expectancy for CML patients who previously could expect to live only about five years after diagnosis. Now they have a normal lifespan and quality of life.

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SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
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