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The MPN Research Foundation And LLS Partner For A Second Round Of The Myelofibrosis Challenge

CHICAGO and WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2012, The Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN) Research Foundation and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) jointly issued the MF Challenge Grant, seeking innovative approaches to reversing fibrosis in patients with myelofibrosis (MF). The challenge resulted in many high quality applications, therefore, the two organizations are continuing with a second round of applications. 

Applicants for this concept grant program will have until April 1, 2013 to submit their proposal for funding of up to $100,000 per grant. The grant review will take place in May 2013.

"Concept grants" are used to identify innovative and novel approaches to an issue. Since the objective is to identify and fund new approaches to fibrosis, applicants are not required to have preliminary data. Success for a grant is defined as proving an idea is worth pursuing further.

Fibrosis is the formation of excessive fibrous connective tissue in place of healthy tissue. The disease myelofibrosis (one of the myeloproliferative neoplasms) is characterized by fibrosis in the bone marrow.  Though some patients may live for many years with relatively mild symptoms, others have a much bleaker outlook. The only potential cure for MF is a stem cell transplant, which is an option for only a small number of MF patients.  The disease in a small proportion of MF patients can transform to acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a highly lethal type of blood and bone marrow cancer that progresses rapidly.

MPN Research Foundation President Barbara Van Husen says this grant program has already stimulated scientific interest in myelofibrosis.

"It is our hope that by bringing a broad range of experts to focus on myelofibrosis we can capitalize on important research in other areas of fibrosis and cancer research for the benefit of MPN patients and many others," Van Husen said.

"LLS aggressively and proactively searches for opportunities to improve the lives of patients by funding areas of research addressing critical unmet medical needs. The lack of a cure for the majority of patients with myelofibrosis presents a challenge that we must address," said Richard C. Winneker, Ph.D., LLS senior vice president, research. "LLS looks forward to our continued partnership with the MPN Research Foundation for a second year to meet the challenge for patients with myelofibrosis."

About The Myeloproliferative Research Foundation The MPN Research Foundation was started in 2000. Founded by patients, for patients, terms on every research grant are negotiated to maximize the dollars invested in actual research. The Foundation's esteemed Scientific Advisory Board utilizes a rigorous selection process to ensure donations are allocated to the most innovative research projects. To date, the Foundation has awarded over nine million dollars for MPN research. The MPN Research Foundation has received funding from MPN patients and from Sanofi Oncology and Incyte Corporation to help support the MF Challenge.  To learn more about the Foundation, visit www.mpnresearchfoundation.org.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.  Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada.  To learn more, visit www.LLS.org or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. www.lls.org

Media contact: Andrea Greif, (914) 821-8958, andrea.greif@lls.org.

SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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