Advancing Research by Supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society By Kenneth Wirth

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) raises funding for research and programs that help individuals with blood cancers lead higher quality and longer lives. As the world’s leader in this field, the organization strives to find improved treatments and cures for leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and Hodgkin’s disease.

Since its establishment in 1949, LLS has been a major force behind blood cancer research. LLS supported research that led to the creation of chemotherapy drugs in the 1950s. In the following decade, researchers refined chemotherapy drugs for children with leukemia. In the 1970s, LLS research funded projects that designed the first successful bone marrow transplants. During the 1980s, LLS advisors discovered cancer causing “oncogenes.”

From the 1990s to the present, LLS research has led to greater understanding of genetic and molecular abnormalities that cause particular blood cancers. Researchers have formulated targeted drugs that spare normal cells and selectively kill cancer cells, thereby reducing the side effects of standard therapies. To counteract the negative effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapies, researchers have identified “growth factors” that have the potential to revitalize the patients’ blood systems following these treatments. Other immune-stimulating therapies include vaccines and antibodies.

Each new decade brings exciting advances in blood cancer research. To learn more about the work of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as well as giving opportunities, visit http://www.lls.org.

About the author: Kenneth Wirth served on the Board of Trustees and held the position of Chapter President of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Westchester. An extraordinarily successful CEO in the financial services industry for four decades, Mr. Wirth also has excelled in raising funds for nonprofit organizations, organizing AAU basketball teams, and serving as a Business Manager for a Broadway musical.

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