Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Research Work Named In Honor Of Richard Rendina

Nick Coniglio with Tricia and Richard Rendina. Photo by Capehart

The fight to find a cure for cancer is a personal one for Richard Rendina and his family. Richard’s father, local real estate developer and philanthropist Bruce Rendina, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in 2005. After a 17-month battle, Bruce was gone. Four years later, Richard fought his own battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Today, Richard — who is cancer free — dedicates much of his time and efforts to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Palm Beach Area chapter. The Board of Trustees member, longtime supporter and annual LLS Palm Beach Area Chapter Black-Tie Gala co-chair, keeps his passion ignited by helping the nonprofit as it raises millions each year to advance treatment options, research to find a cure, and helps children and adults currently in the fight.

To celebrate his dedication, the organization linked Rendina’s name to a cutting-edge, LLS-funded research portfolio, focusing specifically on non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The portfolio includes a mix of multi-year grants and contracts to accelerate the pace of bringing promising new therapies to the market. A specific example of how portfolios such as Rendina’s put the money to work are the recent announcement that the FDA approved a novel immunotherapy for the treatment of adult non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that has relapsed or become resistant to other therapies. Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) is only the second chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy approved by the FDA to treat cancer.

“This therapy is a new option for patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma who have run out of treatment options and face a dire prognosis,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, LLS president and chief executive officer. “Early on, LLS recognized the potential of CAR T therapy, and we are proud to be part of making this historic approval possible.”

Yescarta targets the protein CD19, a driver of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The approval was specifically for use after two prior therapies.

“I am honored to have my name linked to a portfolio, but even more honored to be playing a role in helping to save lives. Being on the receiving side of treatments that have been made possible because of the work LLS is doing inspires me to do more each day. I am confident that by continuing to raise funds, create awareness and enable researchers to do their job, we are getting closer and closer to not only finding a cure for blood cancers, but for all cancers,” Rendina said.

Guests interested in joining Rendina’s efforts are invited to register for the annual gala scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 26. Rendina, along with his wife Tricia, and longtime friends Carissa and Nicholas Coniglio, will serve as co-chairs of the event.

“Frosted” will bring together elegance, excitement, and some of the biggest hearts in Palm Beach for an evening dedicated to finding a cure for blood cancers. The black-tie event, taking place at the Breakers Palm Beach, begins at 7 p.m.

For more information, including tickets or sponsorship opportunities, contact Melissa Mulvihill Jewell at melissa.jewell@lls.org or (561) 616-8682 for details.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting blood cancers.