Lymphoma Research Foundation Awards First of Its Kind Adolescent and Young Adult Research Grant

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LRF Partners with The Paul Foundation on Critical Adolescent and Young Adult Initiative

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) – the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to funding innovative lymphoma research – today announced that it has awarded its first research grant focused solely on combating lymphoma in the adolescent and young adult (AYA) population. The two-year, $100,000 grant was awarded to David Scott, MD, MBChB of the British Columbia Cancer Agency, who will serve as the grant’s principle investigator. The Foundation’s first ever AYA grant is a key component of LRF’s grant portfolio for the 2015 fiscal year, which was announced last month.

The Lymphoma Research Foundation launched a multi-faceted AYA initiative in November 2014, with the support of the initiative’s founding sponsor, The Paul Foundation, and national sponsors The Ferriday Fund Charitable Trust, Genentech, and Teva Oncology. The initiative aims to assist young lymphoma patients in addressing the medical challenges, psychosocial needs and access issues they may encounter by providing expert materials and programs, while emphasizing the need for accurate and timely diagnosis.

"The Paul Foundation is pleased to be partnered with LRF on this initiative. As a private not-for-profit foundation, we were introduced to LRF and discussed our goals for The Paul Foundation. Fortuitously, LRF had a keen interest in working with us to see our goal to fruition; the development of an Adolescent and Young Adult program,” said Ellen M. Walker, Esq., Chair of the Board of The Paul Foundation. “This grant will provide needed funds for research dedicated to Adolescent and Young Adults with lymphoma. Paul was a brilliant and compassionate young man, and despite his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he asked his family to form a foundation to ensure that what happened to him doesn’t happen to others."

Recommendations for research funding were made by the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, which is comprised of the world’s leading lymphoma researchers and oncologists. The award recommendations were then approved by the LRF Board of Directors. Among an outstanding pool of applicants, Dr. Scott and his collaborators were recommended as having particular potential for groundbreaking results with a high-degree of relevance to the AYA community.

“Each year, nearly 70,000 adolescents and young adults are diagnosed with cancer; and lymphoma accounts for nearly 1-in-5 of these diagnoses among young people,” said Meghan Gutierrez, LRF Chief Executive Officer. “Since the launch of the AYA initiative, we have been able to raise awareness and educate others about lymphoma as a disease that affects every age group, and now, with this grant, we are able to leverage that momentum into support for research for this traditionally underserved age group.”

Recently, Dr. Scott and his collaborators identified tests for characteristics of diagnostic biopsies that identify patients at high-risk of poor outcomes. Using biopsies from 241 AYA patients who participated in a recently completed clinical trial, the research team will test the relationship between these tests and the PET scan to see whether choices between treatments can be made at diagnosis – a “risk-stratified” approach. This will provide the foundation for the tailoring of treatment to the individual, choosing the right treatment at diagnosis and then making adjustments depending on how a patient’s cancer is responding, thereby maximizing the chance of cure while minimizing side-effects.

“LRF is providing crucial support and funding that will allow this research to be performed,” said Dr. Scott. “We are excited to present to other researchers and clinicians to pave a way to tailored treatment for young adults affected by lymphoma.”

For more information about the Foundation’s research or adolescent and young adult initiative, please visit lymphoma.org.

About the Lymphoma Research Foundation
The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to funding innovative research and serving the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education programs, outreach initiatives and patient services. To date, LRF has awarded more than $56 million in lymphoma-specific research.

For additional information on LRF’s research, education and services, visit lymphoma.org.

About The Paul Foundation
The Paul Foundation was formed in the fall of 2012 after the passing of Paul Walker Schaffel. The Foundation was formed to honor Paul’s memory as well as Paul’s directions to form a foundation to ensure that what happened to him doesn’t happen to other young adults. Paul was the sole initiator of the Foundation and its mission; as a family, it is our job along with the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) to ensure that Paul’s wishes come to fruition. Following its formation, The Paul Foundation immediately began raising money to fund research and awareness programs for adolescent and young adult lymphoma patients, an underserved population. The mission of The Paul Foundation is, among other things, to fund non-Hodgkin lymphoma research and provide those affected by the disease, their families and healthcare professionals with the tools to identify, treat and cure non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

In September 2013, The Paul Foundation contributed $400,000 to LRF and is proud to stand as the Founding Sponsor for this initiative that we hope will transform the lives of young people diagnosed with lymphoma. To learn more about The Paul Foundation, please visit http://www.PWSFoundation.org.

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