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The American Society of Hematology and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Announce Collaboration Against Deadly Form of Leukemia

(RYE BROOK, NY; WASHINGTON, DC; June 20, 2016) — 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), one of the most deadly blood cancers that has not seen a change in the standard of care for more than 40 years.

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 U.S. each year.

As the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting blood cancers, LLS is leading the charge to change the paradigm of treatment for patients with AML. ASH, the premier medical society dedicated to hematologic malignancies and other diseases of the blood, will assist LLS in its efforts to make both patients and healthcare practitioners aware of the importance and availably 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 and by joining forces we aim to promote greater understanding of and participation in clinical trials to help bring more effective therapies to patients, faster.”

In 2013, LLS launched its Beat AML initiative, bringing together key stakeholders – researchers from multiple institutions, patients, pharmaceutical companies, and physicians - to go on the offensive against AML. The initiative is focused on analyzing the genomic causes of the disease – really a constellation of many subtypes – and then identifying agents with the potential to bring these diseases under control. Ultimately, the goal is to develop more precise, individualized, and effective treatments for AML patients.

LLS invests approximately 26% of its research budget in AML and currently supports 66 academic research projects and five 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 healthcare providers about the services LLS offers AML patients and families, particularly through LLS’s Information Resource Center, a toll-free call center staffed with master’s level healthcare professionals armed with the latest information about blood cancers. 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.”

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About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.

About the American Society of Hematology
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (ww.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 50 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. The official journal of ASH is Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online.