The Dresner Foundation is proud to announce its inaugural Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) Research Fund grant recipients. One grant was awarded to Memorial Sloan Kettering and two were awarded to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. These grants totaling $1,075,000 support the research of two early career investigators and one established career investigator. The principle goal of the research fund is to support cutting-edge MDS research and related programs that will lead to the future standards of care and ultimate cure.
“Joseph Dresner’s struggle with MDS motivated him to help physician researchers find a cure for this disease, and improve the quality of life of others with MDS,” said Dr. Mikkael A. Sekeres of Cleveland Clinic and Chair, MDS Research Fund Scientific Advisory Board. Mr. Dresner’s daughter, and President of the Dresner Foundation said, “My father would be pleased to see that his legacy is helping to fund the best that investigative MDS research scientists and medical institutions have to offer.”
Memorial Sloan Kettering was awarded a grant to support Dr. Stephen Chung’s research titled The Clinical Impact of MDS Stem Cells in Patients Undergoing Allogeneic Transplant. He will conduct this research with the support of his mentor Dr. Ross Levine to help deeply examine the effectiveness of bone marrow transplant (BMT), the only known cure for MDS. Their studies will provide new insights into how MDS stem cells resist eradication by BMT and may lead to new diagnostic tests that can identify patients at the highest risk for relapse who may benefit from novel post-BMT therapies.
Dana Farber Cancer Institute received a grant to support the research of Dr. Coleman Lindsley titled The Impact of Somatic STAG2 Mutations on MDS Transformation in GATA2 Deficiency Syndrome. With the aid of his mentor, Dr. Benjamin Ebert, Dr. Lindsley will study the reasons why different mutations cooperate to cause MDS with the aim to help create a more reliable method to identify the youth with GATA2 most at risk for developing MDS. In the future, the results of this study may inform the prognosis and choice of treatment for MDS patients, and drive development of better therapies.
The third grant was awarded to Dana Farber Cancer Institute for established researcher Dr. Gregory Abel’s, research titled A New Paradigm of Transfusion Support for Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes. His research takes a novel approach in MDS research and suggests that the key question is not whether transfusions improve quality of life (QOL), but how to tailor transfusion decisions to the QOL changes experienced by individual patients.