Karmanos Cancer Institute Receives $5.3 Million Grant For Continued Research

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The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in midtown Detroit is a unique organization. It’s the only hospital in Michigan to focus exclusively on battling cancer, and it’s one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive care centers in the United States. Karmanos is dedicated to preventing, detecting, treating, and eradicating cancer, and now they have some help continuing their critical mission.

Karmanos was designated as the recipient of a generous $5,375,000 grant from the Dresner Foundation. Distributed over the next five years, the grant will enable Karmanos to make several important changes including:

  • The creation of an endowed chair position
  • The establishment of a patient registry and tissue bank
  • Assistance with recruiting exceptional scientists and fellowship positions
  • The establishment of a Patient Assistance Fund to aid low-income patients with financial challenges while they receive care

Charles A. Schiffer, M.D., an international expert in myelodysplasia and transfusion supportive care, leukemia, and other hematologic cancers, will serve as the first endowed Joseph Dresner Chair for Hematologic Malignancies.

Including this grant, the Dresner Foundation has given more than $10.4 million to the Karmanos Cancer Institute since 1998. The Dresner Foundation, established by the late Joseph and Vera Dresner, supports health researchers and personnel dedicated to enhancing the length and quality of life for cancer patients.

In 2002, Joseph Dresner was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and became one of Dr. Schiffer’s patients at Karmanos. To show his appreciation for the dedicated researchers and physicians at Karmanos, Mr. Dresner donated $5 million to the institute. As the result of that gift, the Joseph Dresner Family Clinic for Hematologic Malignancies & Stem Cell Transplantation at Karmanos was able to open in May 2012, shortly after Mr. Dresner passed away. Patients who visit the clinic are treated for lymphoma, MDS, multiple myeloma, and bone marrow and stem cell transplants.

As president of the Dresner Foundation, Lori Dresner strives to continue her parents’ legacy through the foundation’s work:

Our family has seen first-hand the quality of care that patients receive at Karmanos. Supporting the endowed chair position and the recruitment of specialized scientists who train with the best will not only ensure that that level of excellent care and innovative research that Karmanos is known for continues; it will also be enhanced. The Detroit community is fortunate to have a top hematology treatment program in the country right here at Karmanos, supported by cutting edge research to help improve patient survival rates.

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