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Julie Tang

Academy for Math, Engineering & Science

Senior Project
07 March 2015
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
HOSAs national service project this year is to provide sponsorship to the
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). As a co-president of the AMES HOSA chapter, I
would like to help support this organization since the AMES HOSA chapter is very much
community-based. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society started in 1949 in New York
City after the death of Robert Roesler de Villiers, a man who had succumbed to leukemia.
Leukemia and other blood cancers were 100% fatal at the time (Hope Rises From Lost).
The organization grew and diffused to other places in hopes of curing blood cancers. The
organization today has very much grown in size and numbers. Since its founding, LLS
has provided over 1 billion dollars to blood cancer research and has made it a goal to
transform the lives of blood cancer patients since the organization 60th anniversary.
What is leukemia and lymphoma? Leukemia is a malignant cancer of the bone in
which the bone marrow and other blood-producing organs produce large amounts of
abnormal leukocytes. This suppresses the production of normal blood cells, leading to
many diseases such as anemia. Symptoms of leukemia include a fever or chills, fatigue
and weakness, frequent or sever infections, losing weight without trying, swollen lymph
nodes, easy bleeding or bruising, excessive sweating, and bone pain. Leukemia is very
fatal. Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, or lymph nodes. This cancer
directly affects your immune system because it starts in your white blood cells, the cells

that fight off bacteria and sicknesses. Lymphoma shares many of the same symptoms as
leukemia and is also a very deadly disease. The cause of these two diseases is still
unknown. Approximately 1,185,053 Americans are living with Leukemia or in remission
(Blood Cancer Facts). This is a very large amount of people and that is why there is a lot
of research being done on blood cancers.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society helps by funding researchers and has had
many research successes over the years. Some of todays most promising advances
include targeted therapies and immunotherapies, and some of the therapies first approved
for blood cancer patients are now helping patients with other types of cancers and other
serious diseases. There have been many significant discoveries and beginnings over the
past several decades. In the 1950s, chemotherapy was first used to help leukemia and
lymphoma patients, including children. About a decade later, the first combination
chemotherapy was developed. In the 1970s, the first bone marrow transplants were a
success. In the 1980s, cancer-causing oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes were
discovered. In the 1990s, antibody-based therapies such as Rituxan were first used. In the
2000s, targeted therapies such as Gleevec were first used. In 2010, Genomic medicine
and precision medicine, and adoptive immunotherapy were used. Recently in 2010, Dr.
Carl June discovered a way to kill leukemia cancer cells. What he found was a way to use
the HIV virus to introduce a gene into the T-cells that then makes them leukemia killers.
One modified T-cell can kill about a thousand tumor cells. After this amazing discovery,
he was able to cure a patient of leukemia in 2010. By the next decade, LLS hopes to have
personalized medicines, and cures and prevention for every blood cancer patient
(Research Successes). LLS is on its way and is making major progress toward the cure of

blood cancers, and thanks to research and better access to better treatments, blood cancer
survival rates of doubled, tripled, and quadrupled since the 1960.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the worlds largest voluntary (nonprofit)
health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research. With so much funding
over the past few decades, many significant discoveries have been made, especially the
most recent one where the HIV virus is used to introduce a new gene into the T-cells that
makes them leukemia killers. Though it is only leukemia specific, its definitely amazing
progress. The organization is on the verge of amazing breakthroughs. With more funding,
there will be an acceleration of miraculous new treatments and healing therapies for
leukemia and hopefully other blood cancers as well. They will be able to reach their goal
and achieve what was once thought impossible.

Blood Cancer Facts. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.
Hope Rises From Lost. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.
National Service Project. HOSA: Future Health Professionals. Web. 07 Mar. 2015
Research Successes. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.