MPN Research Foundation and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Partner to Spur Innovation in Fibrosis Research
In January 2012 the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN) Research Foundation and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) will jointly issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking innovative approaches to reversing fibrosis in patients with myelofibrosis (MF).
Applicants for this concept grant program (titled the MF Challenge) will have until April 1, 2012 to submit their proposal for funding in the amount of up to $100,000 per grant. The grant review will take place in June 2012 in Chicago.
“Concept grants” are used to identify innovative and novel approaches to an issue. Since the objective is to identify and fund new approaches to this problem, 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. Prognosis for sufferers of myelofibrosis varies. A small proportion of MF patients can transform to acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that progresses rapidly.
MPN Research Foundation President Barbara Van Husen feels that this grant program is timely: “Myelofibrosis is the deadliest of the MPNs, and patients of both polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia have the potential to convert to myelofibrosis. Despite that, we have never received a request for funding based purely on research into fibrosis. We are going to change that with this grant program.”
“LLS takes an aggressive and proactive approach to identifying areas of critical unmet need and funding research in those areas in order to improve the outcomes for patients with particularly urgent diagnoses and myelofibrosis is such an area,” said Richard C. Winneker, LLS senior vice president, research. “LLS looks forward to working with the MPN Research Foundation to meet the challenge for patients with myelofibrosis.”