The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) is the nation’s largest non-profit organization for lymphoma research, and they just announced their partnership with the Annals of Lymphoma (AOL). This was all revealed in September during Blood Cancer Awareness Month. LRF is devoted to exclusively funding lymphoma research and providing education, outreach, and patient services to support the people battling lymphoma as well as their friends and family. AOL is an open-access electronic journal that is peer-reviewed and publishes articles on science and research related to lymphoma. This is a new kind of partnership and will hopefully enhance communication between patients and research communities.
More about the LRF
The mission of LRF is “to eradicate Lymphoma and serve those touched by this disease.” The organization was founded in November of 2001 when the Cure for Lymphoma Foundation (CLF) and the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America (LRFA) merged. LRF focuses on funding research for identifying the origin of lymphoma as well as treatments and cures for the disease. They are also passionate about raising public awareness and providing support and awareness for families and friends of people battling lymphoma. They have numerous disease specific programs that they have developed. Some of these include programs that revolve around public awareness and advocacy as well as professional education. They also have programs that involve helplines, informational apps, and support networks.
LRF has many ways in which the public can get involved in fundraising and/or raising awareness. There are walks and bike rides that physically active supporters can sign up for in cities near them. These are great ways to meet other people who may be dealing with similar situations while also raising awareness and funds. You can also become an advocate by staying involved in congressional decisions through your e-mail. LRF will send out notifications for advocacy updates and if you desire to and are able you can attend congressional hearings as well.
With their dedication to education LRF also has a tab on their website that is full of ways for people to educate themselves. They have educational booklets and fact sheets as well as a whole section on lymphoma. They have webcasts and podcasts to help people learn in a way that is most convenient for them. There are also teleconferences and information for providers.
More about AOL
AOL is a n open-access international peer-reviewed journal that provides articles on lymphoma and hematology. They publish articles that provide information and describe progress in the areas of translational science and clinical findings for lymphoma. They focus on areas such as “epidemiology, biology, genetics, immunology, diagnosis, treatment, and measures of assessment of response.” They also have an international editorial board with specialists who are dedicated to lymphoma research in the clinic and laboratory. The journal aims to provide a space where research can be reviewed and discussed and perspectives in the area of lymphoma can be brought to attention. The fact that the journal is “open-access” means that the articles are readily available to the public free of charge. If you have ever struggled to find free and accurate research articles, you know how important this can be.
The Partnership Announcement
Bruce D. Cheson, MD, FACP, FAAS, FASCO, Editor-in-Chief of the Annals or Lymphoma and past Chair of LRF’s Scientific Advisory Board announced that “For those who have dedicated their lives to the study of lymphoma or to advocating on behalf of patients, we understand that we must continually innovate to develop new therapies and treat patients – not just their disease.” This message is one of holistic care. Having an open-access journal allows patients and their families to have access to accurate information about lymphoma. This can help them feel more empowered and in control of their situation. He goes on to say “This commitment demands a collaborative approach to address the evolving needs of the lymphoma community, inspiring new partnerships such as this throughout our field.” This partnership creates unity in communities seeking to support people dealing with lymphoma and help provide a united front in education. Between the open-access of AOL and the numerous patient resources provided by LRF, patients, their families, and loved ones will be able to stay involved in their health care and supporting research initiatives.
LRF announced that they will partner with both AOL and the Annals of Oncology throughout the month of September and into the future. Their goal is to enhance lines of communication between the researchers and the patients and families that they are seeking to support. The partnership awareness efforts culminated in Light it Red for Lymphoma on September 15th, 2017. This was World Lymphoma Awareness day which was initiated by LRF. During this event over 100 of the most recognizable landmarks in the world illuminated red to support blood cancer research.
LRF is on board with AOL’s mission to support patients. Meghan Gutierrex, LRF Chief Executive Officer said, “Our patient-first focus is central to the Foundation’s mission to eradicate lymphoma and serve all those impacted by a lymphoma diagnosis. To date, LRF has awarded nearly $60 million in lymphoma-specific research and our unique focus on young investigators has enabled countless early-career scientists to maintain their interest in the study of hematological malignancies, many of whom will most certainly secure headlines in the Annals of Lymphoma in the years to come.”
News of well known, patient-oriented, health awareness and research organizations partnering together can be promising for the future. All of these organizations have their strengths and individual areas of expertise. Together they can support each other’s mission and help raise awareness while making accurate lymphoma information available to patients and their families.
This can also be reassuring to patients in a few different ways. There are so many great resources out there that it can be hard to know where to look and which ones contain accurate information. When reputable organizations partner with one another, it can show the public that they are all dedicated to quality research and education. This can make self-education easier and help patients and families be reassured in the information that they are receiving. These partnerships can also remind people the research, awareness, and education are important to many groups of people. This can help offer hope for the future and a cure. When the research community bands together, the cancer community may feel more supported, and hope is essential for healing. Perhaps the LRF and AOL can set an example for other organizations out there!