ASH and LLS Announce AML Awareness and Education Collaboration

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The American Society of Hematology (ASH) and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) are teaming up to raise awareness and provide education about the need for new treatments for acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

AML is a complex group of approximately 20 different types of blood cancers with a very poor survival prognosis. AML impacts approximately 20,000 Americans annually and causes more than 10,000 deaths in the United States each year.

LLS is leading the charge to change the paradigm of treatment for patients with AML. ASH will assist LLS in its efforts to make both patients and health-care practitioners aware of the importance and availability of AML clinical trials, a critical step in the development of new treatments.

“LLS exists to find cures and to ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients, and both LLS and ASH are dedicated to advancing the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of blood cancers, so our missions are truly aligned,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, PhD, LLS’s President and CEO. “In AML, we face one of the most critical unmet medical needs in cancer…. By joining forces, we aim to promote greater understanding of and participation in clinical trials to help bring more effective therapies to patients faster.”

Beat AML Initiative

In 2013, LLS launched its Beat AML initiative, bringing together key stakeholders such as researchers from multiple institutions, patients, pharmaceutical companies, and physicians. The initiative is focused on analyzing the genomic causes of the disease and then identifying agents with the potential to bring the disease under control. Ultimately, the goal is to develop more precise, individualized, and effective treatments for patients with AML.

LLS invests approximately 26% of its research budget in AML and currently supports 66 academic research projects and 5 biotechnology partnerships in AML through its strategic Therapy Acceleration Program.

With its broad access to the medical community, ASH will collaborate with LLS to inform physicians and other health-care providers about the services LLS offers patients with AML and their families, particularly through LLS’s Information Resource Center, a toll-free call center staffed with health-care professionals. Among the support services provided by LLS’s information specialists is assistance finding appropriate clinical trials. ASH will disseminate information about LLS’s services through its multiple communications channels and publications, both digital and print, and during its cancer conferences.

“ASH has more than 16,000 members—clinicians and scientists—from all around the world, who are focused on conquering blood diseases,” said ASH President Charles S. Abrams, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania. “AML continues to present one of our greatest challenges, and ASH welcomes this opportunity to work with LLS to encourage greater participation in clinical trials to advance more therapies and potential cures.” ■