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University of Rochester Researcher Named Millennium Pharmaceuticals Career Development Scholar of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Date:7/7/2008

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has awarded a $550,000 grant to Jonathan Friedberg M.D., M.M.Sc., of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Millennium Pharmaceuticals, The Takeda Oncology Company, of Cambridge, Mass., is funding the first two years of the five-year program.

The Scholar in Clinical Research Career Development Grant will support Dr. Friedberg's work on a new targeted treatment for lymphoma patients.

Dr. Friedberg is studying the drug R788 for patients with indolent and mantle cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). This drug inhibits the molecule called SYK, which controls the survival of B-cells in lymphoma patients. Dr. Friedberg has already shown in several patients that R788 is safe and effective. He is now using mouse models to evaluate R788 in combination with other agents to kill lymphoma cells even better. Once the most promising combination is identified, Dr. Friedberg will pursue a clinical trial enrolling patients with relapsed indolent and mantle cell NHL.

"To effectively eradicate cancers we must learn which molecules cause them and then develop new treatments that kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells," said Barton Kamen, M.D., PhD, Chief Medical Officer of LLS. "Dr. Friedberg's work shows exceptional promise and is likely to lead to improved treatments for patients with various types of lymphoma."

Friedberg is Associate Professor of Medicine, and Director of Hematological Malignancies Clinical Research at the Wilmot Cancer Center. He is leading a number of clinical studies of new agents for lymphoma patients.

The LLS Career Development Program funds talented investigators at different points in their developing careers: Fellows and Special Fellows during their post-doctoral training years, and Scholars and Scholars in Clinical Research early in their independent academic positions. The program thereby recruits and supports young scientists in blood cancer research, helping to populate the field with the best and brightest young researchers who are accomplishing cutting-edge research in established and new laboratories.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society(R), headquartered in White Plains, NY, with 67 chapters in the United States and Canada, is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, LLS has invested more than $600 million in research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Last year alone, LLS made 5.1 million contacts with patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

For more information about blood cancer, visit http://www.LLS.org or call the LLS Information Resource Center (IRC), a call center staffed by master's level social workers, nurses and health educators who provide information, support and resources to patients and their families and caregivers. IRC information specialists are available at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

Contact: Andrea Greif

914.821.8958

andrea.greif@lls.org


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SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
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