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Kinder Foundation commits $1 million for MCL research

Houston-based philanthropists seek better treatments for rare, aggressive blood cancer

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Houston-based philanthropists seek better treatments for rare, aggressive blood cancer

By Sarah Watson

MD Anderson researchers and clinicians may be closer to tailored therapies for a rare, aggressive subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, thanks to a $1 million commitment from the Kinder Foundation.

 Rich and Nancy Kinder

Rich and Nancy Kinder, of Houston, support research led by Michael Wang, M.D., professor in Lymphoma/Myeloma and director of MD Anderson’s Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) Program of Excellence.

“MD Anderson is on the forefront of cancer research, and we believe the work of Dr. Wang will lead to more effective treatment, patient care and outcomes for MCL patients,” says Nancy Kinder, president of the foundation and a senior member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors.

Wang’s MCL research focuses on ibrutinib, an oral targeted therapy that’s been effective in about 70% of MCL patients.

The foundation’s generosity will enable Wang and his team to:

  • Perform more thorough preclinical studies to learn more about the biology of MCL and its response to ibrutinib
  • Perform additional preclinical studies of innovative therapeutic strategies, including various drug combinations
  • Design more sophisticated clinical trials to test ibrutinib and other drugs as a step toward tailored therapies for MCL

 Michael Wang, M.D.

Most MCL patients are diagnosed at late stages, when treatment is difficult and often ineffective. The disease frequently returns after initial therapy and eventually resists chemotherapy.

“The foundation’s support will drive much-needed research to help us counter this resistance,” says Wang. “We’re grateful for the Kinders’ generosity, and we value their partnership in our quest to make significant progress against MCL.”

MD Anderson’s MCL Program of Excellence comprises basic scientists and translational researchers who collaborate with clinical investigators against MCL. MD Anderson treats more MCL patients than any other cancer center in the United States.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center