The Road to a Cure
At the very heart of the Histiocytosis Association is the steadfast commitment to finding a cure for histiocytic disorders. The Histiocytosis Association Research Program was established in 1990 by the Association’s Board of Trustees with the objective of identifying and funding the most important and promising research initiatives – those that will lead to more effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure.
The Histiocytosis Association Research Program provides funding for two types of scientific research – basic and clinical. Basic scientific research focuses on understanding the function of cells and the disease process, and is generally conducted in a laboratory under controlled settings. Clinical scientific research utilizes the knowledge generated through basic research and applies it directly to the treatment of patients through clinical trials. These two forms of research complement one another, and both are necessary in the quest for better treatments and, ultimately, a cure for histiocytic disorders.
The Histiocytosis Association is committed and focused on a threefold research plan and philosophy:
- The Association funds the very best basic science research being conducted worldwide. It is identified through a competitive, peer-review process modeled after that of the National Institutes of Health; the results of this funding continue to pave the path to a cure.
- The Association funds clinical studies that result in identifying the best possible treatments for histiocytic disorders. This provides immediate aid to patients battling these diseases.
- The Association directly facilitates research by managing the only professional medical organization specifically dedicated to the research and treatment of histiocytic disorders, the Histiocyte Society. This unique relationship provides the Histiocytosis Association with unparalleled access to the latest advancements and information in the histio scientific community, from which all histio patients can benefit.
Engaging in these three types of research efforts simultaneously provides a comprehensive, 360-degree approach to finding the best treatments and, ultimately, a cure for all histiocytic disorders.
The Histiocytosis Association is committed to funding research programs to understand and to find cures for the histiocytoses. All research programs that we fund are required to meet all federal guidelines for research and ethical standards at the institutional, foundation and government levels. All studies supported by the Histiocytosis Association that involve patient material are required to have approval from the relevant ethical board prior to receiving any funding.
In 1992, two years after the program was formed, the Association presented its first ten grant awards in the amount of $10,000 each. Since then 168 individual awards have been made to date, representing more than $5.6 million to support critical research around the world. Grant amounts now average $50,000 per project but have been awarded in amounts up to $100,000 in the past. The Histiocytosis Association of Canada (HAC) has provided $265,000 of that funding. This considerable, sustained financial commitment by the HAC is a testament to the internationally recognized success and quality of the Association’s Research Program.