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Masonic Cancer Center members receive $26 million to lead national blood and bone marrow cancer research

Jeffrey Miller, M.D. (above), and Philip McGlave, M.D., earned program project grants totaling $26 million from the National Cancer Institute.

Two of the Masonic Cancer Center’s leading blood and bone marrow cancer researchers—Philip McGlave, M.D., and Jeffrey Miller, M.D.—received five-year program project research grants totaling almost $26 million from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The physician-scientists will use the grants to lead research teams focused on increasing the availability, safety, and effectiveness of hematopoietic stem cell transplants and cell therapy. Their work is improving treatmentand survival of people diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and other blood and bone marrow disorders.

McGlave, deputy director of the Masonic Cancer Center and director of the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, received more than $12.6 million in renewed funding. It builds on 15 years of prior NCI funding and will allow his team to continue their work on stem cell transplant and cell-based treatments for the next five years. Working with McGlave are Bruce Blazar, M.D., John Wagner, M.D., and Miller.

Miller is associate director of the Masonic Cancer Center’s Experimental Therapeutics Initiative. His award of more than $13.3 million will fund years 6-10 of his team’s efforts to characterize natural killer cells to reduce leukemia patients’ relapse rates after transplantation.

“These grants have allowed us to move our studies of umbilical cord blood and natural killer cells into the clinic to treat children and adults with a variety of otherwise lethal hematopoietic malignancies,” McGlave says.

Since performing the world’s first successful bone marrow transplant for lymphoma in 1968, Masonic Cancer Center researchers have continued to improve the techniques of and survival rates after blood and marrow transplantation.

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