Please note that some translations using Google Translate may not be accurately represented and downloaded documents cannot be translated. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund assume no liability for inaccuracies that may result from using this third-party tool, which is for website translation.
Please note that some translations using Google Translate may not be accurately represented and downloaded documents cannot be translated. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund assume no liability for inaccuracies that may result from using this third-party tool, which is for website translation.

American Society of Hematology targets bloodborne cancers

American Society of Hematology logo

Summer 2024
By Kathy Clute
Photography by Sam Ogden

For more than 60 years, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) has been funding research to improve the lives of patients with blood and bone marrow disorders. Last year, it awarded more than $550,000 in grants to seven Dana-Farber researchers seeking to understand and find new treatments for bloodborne cancers.

ASH’s 2023 grantees include Jana Ellegast, MD; Emily Heikamp, MD, PhD; David Lee, MD, MMSc, MPH; Mwanasha Merrill, MD; Oreofe Odejide, MD, MPH; Amy Wang, BA; and Becky Zon, MD.

Among the funded research is Odejide’s investigation into whether a hospice program that provides home-based palliative transfusions will make it more likely for patients with blood cancers to choose hospice, improve their end-of-life care, and reduce the need for expensive, high-intensity medical interventions.

“Right now, only about 25% of people with blood cancers enroll in hospice, and most of them do so only in the last three days of life,” she said. “We know that lack of access to transfusions—which alleviate fatigue, shortness of breath, and bleeding—is the primary reason, so we have partnered with a leading hospice organization to deliver a model of care that combines the core elements of hospice along with home transfusions.”

“ASH recognizes the remarkable contributions of these talented investigators.”

Mohandas Narla, DSc, American Society of Hematology

Zon, a fourth-year fellow, is studying why patients with hematologic malignancies have an increased risk of blood clots, which can be fatal. For unknown reasons, the danger is even more pronounced in patients treated with immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), a critical part of the treatment regimen for multiple myeloma. Zon is investigating the mechanisms that cause IMiD-mediated blood clots, with the goal of improving appropriate, targeted care. 

“ASH recognizes the remarkable contributions of these talented investigators,” said Mohandas Narla, DSc, ASH president and distinguished scientist at New York Blood Center Enterprises. We are proud to support them and excited to see how they improve the lives of patients living with blood disorders.”

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