What we would love to achieve

Because of the rareness of Matt’s disease(s), there is limited medical research being accomplished to find a cure for EBV–HLH and EBV-associated lymphoma such as the NK T-cell lymphoma from which Matt suffered. The areas of current medical research discussed briefly below are those the Foundation is currently interested in raising charitable funds for in support of new and innovative medical research leading to cures for EBV and EBV-associated diseases.

EBV Vaccine

The Foundation is interested in funding innovative research supporting the development of a vaccine for EBV. There is currently no vaccine for EBV. The development of an EBV vaccine could protect individuals against EBV primary infection, and hence, reduce the incidence of EBV- HLH and EBV - associated cancers. The foundation is interested in funding innovative research supporting the development of a vaccine for EBV.

Real-Time EBV Titer

The Foundation is interested in funding research and development of new cost-effective tools and techniques for the real-time determination of patient EBV viral levels in support of the improved diagnosis and management of EBV-HLH and EBV-associated lymphomas. Rapid diagnosis is critical in the management of EBV infections so that anti-viral therapy can be started quickly to reduce the probability of onset of EBV-associated diseases and improve overall survival rates. The current most common tool for the diagnosis and management of EBV infection is the EBV titer, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – based test that establishes the level of EBV cells (viral level) in the patient’s blood. Because of the current complexity and cost of this approach, EBV levels are not currently available for many days, or as long as a week. Currently, at many hospitals, EBV titers are “batch processed” once a week in order to reduce the cost of laboratory blood testing. The Foundation is interested in funding research and development of new cost-effective tools and techniques for the real-time determination of patient EBV viral levels in support of the improved diagnosis and management of EBV-HLH and EBV-associated lymphomas.

T-Cell Immunotherapy

The Foundation is interested in supporting current and future T-cell immunotherapy research, which may lead to a cure of EBV and EBV-associated diseases. Increased understanding of the mechanisms by which
T lymphocytes, a form of white blood cells, recognize virus and tumor-specific antigens has fueled the use
of adoptive immunotherapy for diseases such as EBV and EBV – HLH, which develop in patients with weakened immune systems. At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and at several other institutions, e.g. the Baylor College of Medicine, successful treatment of these diseases has occurred in a small number of bone marrow transplant patients who received infusions of white blood cells taken from their bone marrow donors who were immune to EBV. The Foundation is interested in supporting current and future T-cell immunotherapy research, which may lead to a cure of EBV and EBV-associated diseases.

New & Emerging Innovative Medical Research

The Foundation is interested in supporting new and emerging innovative medical research leading to cures for EBV and EBV-associated diseases. As new and promising medical research related to EBV and EBV-associated diseases is identified, the Foundation will work to fund those efforts most likely to result in cures for these rare and deadly diseases.

 

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