The IWMF encourages and promotes the development of information leading to a better understanding of the disease Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM). This goal is accomplished by providing grants for basic medical and scientific research into the causes, treatments, and potential cures for WM. We do so in a number of ways. Since we are a small organization with limited resources, we always try to leverage our investments into programs and institutions which are supportive, will contribute to the research, and will promote the cause. The Foundation research strategy supports the following areas:
- Basic scientific research into the pathogenesis of WM cells
- Translational research to discover if drugs used for other cancers are effective with WM cells
- Exploratory research on promising new ways to target destruction of WM cells
- Animal research to develop WM mice models for use in testing new drugs
- Laboratory research fellowships for one or two year projects
- Meetings and conferences for researchers to encourage coordinated ongoing research
Medical Scientific Research Grants
Most of our research funds are dedicated to basic research grants as described below. We have a rigorous process of application which includes evaluation by appropriate scientists selected by the Scientific Advisory Committee, approval by the IWMF Research Committee, and, finally, approval by the IWMF Board of Trustees. We are constantly looking for new applications for new research projects. (See section on “How to Apply for a Research Grant”)
Sponsorships (Bethesda, Athens, Paris, Kos, Stockholm, and Venice Workshops)
In 2000, the IWMF, in cooperation with the National Cancer Institute, sponsored the First International Workshop on WM and invited 21 prominent researchers in the US and from several other countries for a two-day intensive exploration of treatments for WM.
IWWM1 was held in Bethesda, Maryland.
A follow-up Second International Workshop on WM (IWWM2), held in Athens, Greece, in September of 2002 greatly increased the number of researchers, expanded the international exposure, and focused on diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and the search for a cure.
A Third International Workshop on WM (IWWM3) was held in Paris, France, in October of 2004.
In 2005 IWMF helped to sponsor the 10th International Myeloma Workshop in Sydney, Australia, where a number of papers on WM were presented. The IWMF also provided funds and participated in the 11th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma in Lugano, Switzerland.
The IWMF was a Silver Sponsor of the Fourth International Workshop on WM (IWWM4) held in June 2007 on the island of Kos, Greece. This site was significant in that it was the birthplace of Hippocrates, the “father of medicine.”
In October 2008 the IWMF, along with other foundations and pharmaceutical companies, provided funds for the Fifth International Workshop on WM (IWWM5) in Stockholm, Sweden. During the workshop tribute was paid to the late Dr. Jan Waldenström who discovered the disease. Discussions were held concerning consensus recommendations for treatment regimes made at previous International Workshops. At the conclusion of this Workshop, a seminar featuring doctors who treat WM was held for European WM patients.
In October 2010 the IWMF continued its funding support, along with other foundations and pharmaceutical companies, for the Sixth International Worksop on WM (IWWM6) in Venice, italy. At the conclusion of this Workshop for medical professionals, the Second International Patient Forum was held for European WM patients.
All members of the IWMF Scientific Advisory Committee (see list of committee members under “About IWMF”) are professional medical scientists and researchers attached to major institutions with which the IWMF seeks to develop long-term relationships of mutual support.
At the present time, the IWMF is not funding clinical trials, although this policy is always subject to change. Such trials are extremely expensive and are usually supported by pharmaceutical companies. The funds raised by the IWMF are concentrated on basic research.