Renewed focus on a national initiative to cure cancer

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For more than 66 years The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has dedicated its energy and resources to finding cures for blood cancers, investing more than $1 billion over that time. Last night in his State of the Union address, President Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to take the lead in a “moon shot” mission to cure cancer. We at LLS agree the time is right.

“It’s personal for everybody,” the Vice President later said in a statement.

As Vice President Biden pointed out, everybody is touched by cancer. He also lauded the innovations in data and technology, and new approaches to research, which are leading to remarkable progress in the ability to harness the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, and more precise ways to target molecularly the cancer-driving genes. Innovations in treating cancer are reaching patients at dizzying speed and we are at the cusp of seeing even more breakthroughs in the near future.

As Biden suggested, progress is not possible without collaboration. LLS is dedicated to bringing together all the players in the ecosystem to meet this challenge. We have funded research that has advanced most of the therapies used today to treat patients with blood cancers, many of which are also treating patients with other cancers and serious diseases. And we are forming collaborations with industry, academia, government, patients and policy makers to advance new approaches to therapy for some of the most intractable cancers, such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

If we all work together to tackle this problem, we can help make someday today for the more than 1.1 million people in the United States living with or in remission from a blood cancer, and the nearly 14 million people overall living with cancer.

See Biden’s statement here.

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