Bob Zhang, Author at NFCR - Page 5 of 10

Bob Zhang

CFC/CHC/United Way

Giving Through Your Employer

The National Foundation for Cancer Research is a proud member of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), Community Health Charities (CHC) and United Way. Many employers in the public and private sectors encourage charitable giving through a number of programs. Here you’ll find some of the most common ways employees can contribute a portion of their earnings.

Combined Federal Campaign

Cancer Research America – NFCR is the name of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and the ICA State Employee Campaign programs for the National Foundation for Cancer Research. Government employees can generously allocate a portion of their paycheck to go to NFCR by selecting Cancer Research America – CFC #11267 – as their charity of choice and select an amount of money to donate per paycheck. NFCR funds leading cancer researchers throughout the United States and the funding provided by NFCR has led to important breakthroughs and will continue to do so. The contributions from participants in the Combined Federal Campaign and ICA State Employee Campaign allow NFCR to fight for a goal we all share: a cancer-free America.

Cancer Research America is a proud nationwide charity partner of Community Health Charities. Community Health Charities is a nonprofit that raises awareness and resources for health and wellness by connecting more than 2,000 of the most trusted health charities, including Cancer Research America, across the United States with more than 17 million caring donors through workplace giving campaigns, causes, wellness programs, employee engagement, and strategic partnerships. Cancer Research America is represented by Community Health Charities in workplace giving campaigns nationally, including the Combined Federal Campaign (our CFC giving code is 11267), public campaigns hosted by State and County governments, and private campaigns hosted by companies of all size. Look to designate a gift to Cancer Research America in your workplace giving campaign to help us fund cancer research and foster scientific collaboration to lead to a cure for all types of cancers.

Community Health Charities

United Way

Check with you local state’s United Way program on how you can support scientific cancer research via the National Foundation for Cancer Research.

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Create Your Own Research Fund

Do you want to take your support of a specific cancer research area to the next level while honoring or remembering a family member or loved one? NFCR has the solution for you: Create Your Own Research Fund. NFCR has been setting up designated and restricted fund programs for more than 40 years. These funds allow you to fund a specific researcher, project, cancer type or cancer research area in a significant fashion over a three year+ timeframe that will accelerate the pace of discovery. The fund can be named by you to highlight your cause or as a tribute to your family or loved one to keep that legacy at the forefront of the Research to find a Cure.

Creating Your Own Research Fund allows you to:

  • Restrict your support to a specific researcher, project or cancer area;
  • Name the fund – many honor the area of research or family and loved ones;
  • Meet the principal investigator (lead researcher) of the project you support at least annually;
  • Receive research update reports from the principal investigator as NFCR receives them;
  • Attend NFCR’s annual Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research as a VIP;
  • Attend NFCR’s annual Scientific Symposium where all researchers present progress in their projects and researchers; and
  • Strengthen your fund by engaging family, colleagues and peers to lead events and other activities in support of your cause. NFCR can help you with ideas on ways to engage others in support of your fund.

How it Works

  • Commit to a minimum of 3 years of research support. The amount of your annual gift or size of the fund is dictated by your desired scope of research work. NFCR has helped establish funds that have ranged from $75,000 to $2 million+. Funds can be established and supported by a variety of assets, as well as set up via a gift in a will or estate plan.
  • Choose a specific researcher, project, cancer type or area you’d like your fund to be restricted. NFCR can assist in supporting a new project by pre-screening proposals in a field of cancer research you’re interested and arrange presentations on research proposals by the principal investigators for you to consider.
  • Choose a name for your fund. If you would like to publicize the fund, NFCR will work with you to build a logo and highlight it on the NFCR.org website, our Annual Report and other marketing avenues.

If you would like to learn more about Creating Your Own Fund, contact

Elaine Currie
Donor Relations Officer
301-961-9139
ECurrie@nfcr.org

Examples of Named Research Funds at NFCR

The Lucy Fund

Even though over 90% of cancer mortalities are due to metastatic cancer — cancer that spreads from its original location to vital organs within the body — less than 5% of current cancer funding supports research geared towards understanding the mechanisms of metastasis. The Lucy Fund was created to lessen this statistical discrepancy, with hopes that one day researchers will find a way to make cancer a chronic, not deadly, disease.

The Hope Fund for Sarcoma Research

The Hope Fund for Sarcoma Research is a designated fund established by Ken and Marianne Bouldin in partnership with NFCR. The Bouldins founded the Hope Fund after their daughter Jennifer survived a type of sarcoma known as malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST).

Want to consider establishing a named fund without a long-term commitment?

Consider NFCR’s Rose Fund.

RoseRose Fund

You could also set up a fundraiser through our Rose Fund program in the name of the person you would like to honor or remember. As well as honoring their life, it will also contribute to further advances in cancer research. A Rose Fund can be established with any amount you would like to start a fund with. It also provides you with the flexibility to give whenever you would like to. There are no minimums or monthly requirements to donate to a fund. Anybody can donate or raise money for the Rose Fund now and as far into the future as they wish. We make sure that all donors who choose to be kept informed know how much has been raised for the Fund. We use the money you raise on fulfilling our mission to find better treatments and cures for cancer.

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The Lucy Fund for Metastatic Cancer Research

About the Fund

Metastasis is the spread of cancer from its original location to vital organs within the body. More than 90% of cancer mortalities are a result of metastasis. Sadly, however, less than 7% of current cancer funding supports research geared towards understanding the mechanisms of metastasis. The Lucy Fund was established in 2010 with a mission to make metastatic cancer chronic, not deadly, empowering communities to support metastatic cancer research.

About Lucy

Lucy was a woman who enjoyed the simple things in life. She loved to read and enjoyed a good steak dinner with a tall glass of red wine. Lucy cherished time with her family, whether it be an intense game of cards, or even long car rides to basketball games.

Lucy received the news that she had Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer on April Fool’s Day of 2008. She was just 42 years old. She was health conscious, received yearly mammograms, yet cancer still found its way into her breast. During the next four years she persevered through life with cancer. Lucy was a present wife and mother, engaged in every aspect of family life. She remained a passionate teacher, who instilled a love for writing into the students who entered her classroom. She established The Lucy Fund and its annual Party4Life fundraising event, even as her illness drained most of her energy.

In August 2012, Lucy lost her courageous battle with cancer. She passed away at the age of 46, yet her legacy remains in numerous ways: her beautiful family; her memoir titled “Aren’t You Dead Yet?”, which chronicles her cancer journey; and the Lucy Fund, which is a vehicle to encourage the support of metastatic cancer research.

Contributions to the Lucy Fund support the NFCR Center for Metastasis Research directed by Dr. Danny Welch at the University of Kansas Cancer Center. Dr. Welch and his team have discovered eight of the more than 30 known metastasis suppressor genes. Further research based on these discoveries may lead to the design of molecules that either prevent metastasis from happening or arrest metastatic tumors in a dormant state.

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Immunotherapy

What is Immunotherapy?

The immune system is the body’s defense against disease as it recognizes and destroys any foreign material that could cause harm. In some instances, the immune system can recognize cancer cells as abnormal and kill them; in others, the cancer evades the immune system wreaking havoc in our bodies.

In recent years, some of the most promising advances in cancer research involve immunotherapies – treatments that use the immune system to fight diseases like cancer. By finding new ways to help the immune system recognize cancer cells and strengthen its response to destroy them, researchers are looking for long-lasting solutions to cure cancer.

NFCR Research Highlights

Dr. Wayne Marasco is a world-renowned antibody engineering expert who works on infectious diseases and cancer immunotherapies. For cancer, as well as HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, one possible treatment involves the use of human monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) – which are proteins that are produced to bind to only one substance. For cancer treatments, Mabs bind only to cancer cells and produce immunological responses against the cancer cells. There is great promise with Mabs because their tumor-fighting effects would be less harmful to normal cells than that of traditional cancer treatments. In an effort to greatly expand the use of Mabs in the treatment of cancer, Dr. Marasco and NFCR founded the NFCR Center for Therapeutic Antibody Engineering.

Dr. Marasco has had great success developing Mabs that attach to an important protein – carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) – that is highly expressed in renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer. Once attached, the CAIX antibody can halt abnormal cancer growth. Most recently, his team at the NFCR Center developed a combination immunotherapy treatment that holds promise for treating metastatic kidney cancer more effectively. The immunotherapy they have engineered includes not only the CAIX antibody that detects and binds to CAIX growth-promoting proteins on cancerous kidney cells, but also unblocks T cells to enable more rigorous attacks against cancer. Moreover, this double treatment approach could be adapted to treat advanced colon, breast, brain and other difficult-to-treat solid cancers using different antibodies.

Dr. Paul Fisher’s laboratory focuses on understanding the molecular and biochemical basis of cancer development and progression. They have created a new therapeutic approach to cancer therapy, which Dr. Fisher calls a Cancer Terminator Virus.

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Innovative Therapies

What is Innovative Therapies?

The cancer research field is filled with promising innovators looking for new and exciting ways to treat and prevent cancer, as well as improve conditions for patients during and after treatment.

Medical innovation is about experimentation and challenging the status quo. Sometimes that involves simply thinking outside the box and sometimes it means bucking conventional wisdom outright. Researchers are looking at innovative therapies that can improve the health, wellness and, ultimately, the chance of survival for patients.

NFCR Research Highlights

Dr. Yung-Chi Cheng’s laboratory is working to bring Traditional Chinese Medicine into the mainstream of Western medicine, with hopes of reducing the side effects of chemotherapy, while enhancing the benefits. Since the late 1990s, with support from NFCR, Dr. Cheng’s team has been exploring the therapeutic properties of PHY906, a Chinese herbal medicine formula. They have discovered that cancer treatment with PHY906, combined with chemotherapy, alleviates the unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects of chemotherapy for colon, rectal, pancreatic and liver cancer patients. Moreover, their research demonstrated that PHY906 also has its own, solo anti-tumor attributes. If there is continued success in clinical trials, PHY906 could become one of the first FDA-approved oral herbal medicines for anti-cancer treatment.

NFCR-funded scientist Dr. Curt Civin recently discovered that malaria drugs could potentially be used for cancer patients. He found that artemisinins – a class of drugs with low toxicity that are known for successfully treating malaria – are also effective in killing acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cancer cells. Through research, he identified ART-838, a specific artemisinin compound that shows remarkable preliminary effectiveness against leukemia cells and works well in combination with established anti-leukemia drugs. In addition, the compound can be given orally and stays active in the bloodstream for a long time. Plus, it doesn’t appear to harm normal bone marrow cells, so it may prove to be an effective new treatment for AML patients.

* The herb Scutellaria baicalensis – shown in the photo on this page – is an ingredient in the PHY906 Chinese herbal formulation.

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Molecular Imaging

What is Molecular Imaging?

Molecular imaging provides detailed pictures of what is happening inside the body at the molecular and cellular levels. Molecular imaging procedures are minimally-invasive and target distinct molecular pathways.

Other diagnostic imaging procedures – such as x-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds – offer pictures of a physical structure, but molecular imaging allows doctors to see the pathways and mechanisms as they are occurring in a living organism. They can then assess how the body is functioning, identify if a disease is present and measure chemical and biological processes.

Molecular imaging can help doctors determine (and determine sooner):

  • The extent or severity of a disease (including whether it has spread),
  • The most effective personalized treatments based on a patient’s unique genetics (also known as precision medicine),
  • A patient’s expected response to a specific drug,
  • How to adapt treatment plans in response to changes in cellular activity, and;
  • Disease progression to identify recurrence or help manage ongoing care.

NFCR Research Highlights

At the NFCR Center for Molecular Imaging, led by Dr. James Basilion, new tools are being developed that can literally change the way doctors are looking at cancer. One newly-designed molecular probe allows researchers to view multiple molecular biomarkers simultaneously and see a tumor’s genetic structure in real-time. This visualization allows for the very early detection of tiny tumors that will greatly improve treatment outcomes. Additionally, the team developed an imaging technique that may revolutionize cancer surgeries and be particularly helpful with treatments for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM – the most aggressive brain tumor), skin cancers and with breast lumpectomies. This new technology allows surgeons to assess the margins of their surgeries as they are being conducted to see if all cancer cells have been removed. This novel approach could dramatically reduce re-excision rates and reduce or eliminate local tumor recurrence.

Dr. Robert Bast’s laboratory, which is supported by NFCR funding, is developing a more sensitive imaging technology called a Superconducting Quantum Interfering Device (SQUID). This device aims to improve the sensitivity to detect tiny, early-stage tumors over existing techniques, such as CT scans, MRIs and PET-CTs.

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Blood Cancers

There are three main types of blood cancers. Leukemia is a cancer found in your blood and bone marrow, lymphoma is a blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system and myeloma is a blood cancer that specifically targets plasma cells. Each year, these types of cancer account for more than 10% of all new cancer diagnoses.

Key Facts

  • An estimated 172,910 new cases of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017, with more than 58,300 deaths expected to result from the diagnosis.
  • Every three minutes, one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
  • Leukemias are the most common cancers in children and account for about 30% of all childhood cancers.
  • More than 1.2 million people in the U.S. are either living with or in remission today from a blood cancer.

Blood Cancer Research

In addition to specific projects listed below, genomics research is helping us attack blood cancers – and all types of cancer. NFCR has distinguished itself from other organizations by emphasizing long-term, transformative research and working to move people toward cancer genomics.

Blood
172910
estimated new cases in 2017
58300
expected deaths in 2017
30
% of all childhood cancers

Leukemia is a great success story for cancer research — one in which NFCR-funded scientist Dr. Curt Civin played an important role. His early work on bone marrow stem cell transplantation was partially responsible for the dramatic increase of the five-year survival for all types of leukemia over the past 20 years.

Dr. Civin discovered CD34, the first – and still best – marker of hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells ever found. His subsequent isolation of CD34+ stem cells opened entirely new approaches to leukemia treatment. The CD34+ transplantation technology, created by a team of scientists in Dr. Civin’s laboratory, has been widely applied, and thousands of patients’ lives have been saved because of this approach to treating cancer.

And now, for patients still suffering from cancer and waiting for a cure, Dr. Civin’s current research may once again hold the key. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the deadliest form of leukemia. Dr. Civin recently discovered that artemisinins – a class of drugs with low toxicity used to successfully treat malaria – are also effective in killing AML cancer cells. Through research, he identified ART-838, a specific artemisinin compound, that shows remarkable preliminary effectiveness against leukemia cells and works well in combination with established anti-leukemia drugs. In addition, the compound can be given orally and stays active in the bloodstream for a long time. Further, it doesn’t appear to harm normal bone marrow cells, so it may prove to be an effective new treatment for AML patients.

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Overcoming Drug Resistance

What is Drug Resistance?

Sometimes cancers are inherently unaffected by a specific drug and sometimes drug resistance occurs when cancers that have been responding to a therapy suddenly begin to grow again. In that latter case, the cancer cells resist the effects of treatment and the therapy being used will need to be changed.

Research is underway to investigate ways of reducing or preventing cancer drug resistance.

Related NFCR Research

Dr. Alice Shaw’s laboratory focuses on developing new strategies to overcome lung cancer treatment resistance – specifically for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), ROS1 and RET genetic mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Since 2014, Dr. Shaw has been leading several clinical trials and translational efforts aimed at overcoming drug resistance for patients living with ALK positive NSCLC.

Dr. Susan Horwitz is a molecular pharmacologist who studies how drugs work in the body. She is the scientist who discovered how Taxol works inside cells to halt cell division. Dr. Horwitz is now collaborating with other scientists, including NFCR-funded scientist Dr. Amos B. Smith, III, to develop new drugs to overcome the drug resistance problem for triple negative breast cancer.

Dr. Daniel A. Haber’s laboratory is looking at the genetic abnormalities of cancer – from inherited mutations (with familial predisposition) to mutations that are acquired by tumors themselves – and the research aims to guide targeted drug therapies.

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Personalized Treatments

What are Personalized Treatments?

Although cancer research is ultimately about finding a cure for cancer, it also encompasses efforts to make cancer a more manageable disease with less toxic side effects.

Decades of research led us to a new era in the treatment of cancer known as precision medicine. Gone are the days of the “one-size fits all” approach to cancer treatment. Instead, doctors are beginning to administer treatments based on the needs of each individual person, their genetic information, health history and specific conditions.

NFCR Research Highlights

Since 2014, Dr. Alice Shaw has been leading several clinical trials and translational efforts aimed at overcoming drug resistance for patients living with lung cancer. She was the lead investigator for global registration studies of crizotinib (Xalkori®) and ceritinib (Zykadia®), which led to regulatory approval of both drugs in advanced anaplastic lymphoma kinase non-small cell lung cancer (ALK-rearranged NSCLC).

NFCR-funded scientist Dr. Curt Civin discovered that malaria drugs could potentially be used for cancer patients. He found that artemisinins – a class of drugs with low toxicity that are known for successfully treating malaria – are also effective in killing acute myeloid leukemia cancer cells.

Dr. Daniel A. Haber’s laboratory focuses on understanding the genetic abnormalities of cancer and the research aims to guide targeted drug therapies. His lab is responsible for identifying a specific mutation in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in a subset of NSCLC. By linking EGFR mutations to lung cancer, Dr. Haber made it possible to identify patients who will respond well to certain cancer-fighting drugs that block EGFR mutations. In July 2016, the FDA approved the drug Iressa® as a front-line treatment for patients with these specific tumor mutations that Dr. Haber identified. Since 2014, Dr. Alice Shaw has been leading several clinical trials and translational efforts aimed at overcoming drug resistance for patients living with lung cancer. She was the lead investigator for global registration studies of crizotinib (Xalkori®) and ceritinib (Zykadia®), which led to regulatory approval of both drugs in advanced anaplastic lymphoma kinase non-small cell lung cancer (ALK-rearranged NSCLC).

Dr. Wei Zhang has devoted his entire career to the pursuit of precision oncology – specifically to the key molecular and genomic events that drive the development and progression of cancer. Over the last 18 years, Dr. Zhang and his team have identified multiple novel cancer markers and oncogenic signaling molecules. Currently, Dr. Zhang is studying how genetic expression, amplification and mutations relate to and regulate each other. Using data from next-generation sequencing, Dr. Zhang is identifying growth-promoting genes of a patient’s cancer.

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