Blood cancer research has been at the forefront of lifesaving discoveries beginning with chemotherapy and LLS has paved the way for groundbreaking research including immunotherapies, genomics and precision medicine – which emerged from researching blood cells, which are easier to access and study than cancer cells in solid tumors.
“Beating Cancer Is In Our Blood” is a new platform highlighting LLS’s resolve to end blood cancers and showcasing the breakthroughs in blood cancer research which are now saving lives and being tested in clinical trials for other cancers and diseases, such as brain, breast, kidney, liver, lung, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancer, as well as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Research breakthroughs in blood cancer treatments are occurring at an ever-increasing rate; last year alone saw 18 new U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for blood cancers, and LLS supported 15 of them.
Emily Dumler from Shawnee, Kansas, a 37-year-old mother of three young children, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in August 2013. After a whirlwind of intense treatments including chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant and months of hospitalization, Emily relapsed soon after each treatment and in 2015 was given a devastating prognosis – doctors said she had six months to live. But then, Emily received a glimmer of hope when her doctors told her of a potential new treatment. In July 2015, Emily became the third patient in the world enrolled a clinical trial for CAR T-cell therapy that was made possible by LLS funding. The revolutionary therapy was a success! This CAR T-cell immunotherapy approach, FDA-approved in 2017, is currently being tested on solid tumors. Emily has been in remission for more than two years and is enjoying spending time with her family and sharing her story to help others.
To inspire and encourage others, today Emily is joined by Dr. Gwen Nichols, LLS Chief Medical Officer during Blood Cancer Awareness Month to remind everyone that while breakthrough therapies are saving lives, work still needs to be done to find cures.