Robyn Stoller, Author at NFCR - Page 2 of 6

Robyn Stoller

On the Move with Dr. Ba

This year, cancer research is moving at an exciting pace towards a real transformation.  Just last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a cancer treatment based on a biomarker rather than the body location where the cancer originates. And the role of immunotherapy has significantly grown and is just beginning to change the landscape of cancer treatment. NFCR President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Sujuan Ba, continues to lead efforts and collaborate with top scientists and public supporters from around the world to advance our cancer research mission for patient treatments as well as educate the public on cancer prevention.

A Few 2017 Highlights

January – March

To join forces in the fight against pediatric cancer, Dr. Ba met with Mr. Ricardo Garcia, the founder and President of the Richi Childhood Cancer Foundation, our newest non-profit partner, in February, to discuss ways to accelerate the developments of pediatric cancer research. Founded in 2014, the Richi Foundation works to ensure that all children and adolescents who suffer from cancer have the best prognosis and quality of life. Keep an eye out for more information coming soon on our partnership involving Richi Talent.

For the past decade, Dr. Ba has worked closely with a group of passionate and accomplished women – known as “Daffodils and Diamonds” – who have resolved to make an impact in the fight against cancer. To date, their efforts have raised an eye-popping $1,028,719 for life-saving research. The 36th annual Daffodils and Diamonds Luncheon and Fashion Show was held on March 9 at the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland. WJLA-TV 7 Anchor Alison Starling served as the emcee, and the First Lady of the State of Maryland Yumi Hogan and Miss Maryland USA Adrianna David were VIP attendees. Dr. Ba and members of the NFCR staff attended the event and thanked the D&D members for their hard work  and generosity.

Dr. Ba (L) met the First Lady of Maryland, Yumi Hogan (M) on the 2017 D&D event.

The following week, Dr. Ba travelled to China to receive the inaugural award from the Chinese Medical Doctor Association for her outstanding contribution to international cooperation. This award recognizes Dr. Ba’s efforts leading and facilitating numerous high-impact international collaborative projects over the past two decades, including building a high-quality cancer tissue biorepository in Asia and a recent cross-continent adaptive clinical trial platform, GBM AGILE to attack the most common and deadliest brain cancer Glioblastoma Multiforme.

From left to right: Dr. Wenbin, Li, Dr. Tao Jiang, Dr. Sujuan Ba, Dr. Webster Cavenee

On April 11, Dr. Ba and other GBM AGILE leaders met with representatives from pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry to educate them on the GBM AGILE Adaptive Trial.  Over 130 researchers from more than 40 leading cancer institutions across three continents have come together to find cures for GBM, and NFCR plays a key role. NFCR, a founding member of GBM AGILE, not only has provided seed funding to launch the design of AGILE protocol, but also coordinated and organized several US-China GBM AGILE workshops.  Dr. Ba serves on the executive steering committee which led the development of the trial protocol. The protocol is nearly complete, and patient enrollment is expected to begin in Q1 2018, giving GBM patients worldwide the best chance to treat their disease.

On May 1, the 2017 annual Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research was awarded to Dr. Michael Hall for his discovery of one of the most important cancer cell targets in the modern era of oncology, “Target of Rapamycin” or TOR. He discovered that TOR – a conserved protein kinase – controls cell growth and a wide range of metabolic processes that when dysregulated cause disorders such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Thanks to Dr. Hall, TOR inhibitors are used today in treatments for kidney, breast, brain and pancreatic cancers, and numerous clinical trials are currently underway testing TOR inhibitors in the treatments of many types of cancer.

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Mary-Claire King, Dr. Michael Hall, Dr. Sujuan Ba

More than 170 people attended the dinner and award ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  Dr. Ba spearheaded the creation of this annual international prize in 2006. The award recognizes outstanding scientific achievement in the war against cancer. This year, Dr. Ba made closing remarks at the event thanking Dr. Hall for his significant contribution to cancer research which saved million’s lives and emphasized the importance of continuing investment for cancer research for future life-saving breakthroughs.

Dr. Ba with Ms. Vivian Kim, the founder of NAPAW, and Ms. Kate Nitta, the president of NAPAW and others at the 2017 NAPAW Conference

On May 22, Dr. Ba was a key speaker at the 2017 National Association of Professional Asian-American Women Small Business Forum and Dynamic Leadership Training Conference.  She gave presentation on Cancer Prevention and Making Healthy Choices which was very well received by the audience.

Dr. Ba with past presidents of CBA at the CBA 2017 Annual Conference

On June 25, Dr. Ba attended the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association’s (CBA) 2017 Annual Conference in Rockville, MD, Delivering Lifesaving Medicines to Patients through Innovation, Regulatory Reform and Global Partnership and met many leaders in the medical research communities.  CBA serves as a bridge between US and China in the field of bio-medical research with the goal of bringing new pharmaceutical agents to commercial development and healthcare market. Dr. Ba served as CBA Past President from 2010-2011, was a member of their Board of Directors from 2006-2013 and is currently a member of their Board of Advisors.

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Meet Dorothy Elicker: A Mother Carrying on Her Daughter’s Legacy

Dorothy Elicker will never forget April 1, 2008 as that was the day her daughter, Lucy Stanovick, was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer — she was just 42 years old.

Lucy was a beacon of light to all who knew her. While fighting her own health battles and raising two young children, Lucy worked tirelessly to educate the public about metastasis and became involved in initiatives aimed to stop the spread of cancer. She was determined to help find a cure so that when another mother or daughter walks into a doctor’s office and gets told they have metastatic cancer, the prognosis will not be terminal.

Metastasis causes more than 90% of cancer-related deaths, yet it receives less than 5% of the funding. To change this paradigm, Lucy and her family created the Lucy Fund for Metastatic Cancer Research to support NFCR-funded scientist Dr. Danny Welch, whose research is focused on stopping the metastatic spread of cancer.

Four short years later, Lucy passed away, but her legacy does not end there. With the help of family and friends, the Lucy Fund has raised more than $280,000. “Lucy selflessly fought for future generations. Her passion lives on and the generous support from those inspired by her helps keep her spirit alive,” says Dorothy. “We will continue to raise money for the Lucy Fund in memory of my daughter. To me, the Lucy Fund personifies hope that other mothers will not have to experience the heartache of watching one of her children die — leaving so much of life unfinished. We cannot stop until we put an end to cancer. That’s why the Lucy Fund is still necessary today — for the future.” For more information, visit

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Meet Darrell Rice: A Courageous and Inspirational Caregiver

This year marks the 13th anniversary of Carmen Rice’s survival from Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) – the deadliest brain cancer that is widely regarded as incurable and universally fatal. Carmen’s thirteen-year survival is nothing less than miraculous and last month, we shared her incredible story with you. Today, we’d like to share Darrell Rice’s story.  Darrell is Carmen’s husband of 42+ years and, as her partner, primary caregiver and advocate, he has been and continues to be at Carmen’s side every step of the way.

A Diagnosis of GBM

In 2004, Carmen was diagnosed with GBM, the deadliest brain cancer that kills 91% of patients within three years of diagnosis. At that time, Carmen’s doctors gave her six months to live and said there was a chance that she would not survive the surgery. Despite this grim prognosis, Carmen and her husband Darrell remained positive and hopeful. Thank goodness Carmen survived!

After surgery to remove as much of the brain tumor as possible, Carmen underwent radiation and chemotherapy.  Despite this rigorous treatment plan, Carmen’s tumor returned in the same spot as her initial brain tumor four years later. With this recurrence, her doctors gave her six weeks to live…But Carmen continued to beat the odds and today, she lives a happy, healthy and active life with Darrell after surviving the “unsurvivable” GBM for 13 years. 

Remembering the past thirteen years, Darrell notes that wrapping his brain around Carmen’s diagnosis initially was no easy task. Carmen’s treatment regimens were grueling and the side effects were life changing. He vividly remembers when Carmen lost her ability to walk.  Over the years, there have many times when he had to feed her, bathe her and help her with the simplest of life’s tasks.  He recalls, “There were days when it seemed like it was just too much but looking back, I see that the entire ordeal has made us both stronger.” 


Preserving Hope

Being a caregiver is often far more difficult than most people realize. Feelings of sadness, frustration, anger, resentment, anxiety, fear, isolation and tremendous stress often accompany a life-threatening diagnosis like GBM. In addition, many caregivers often forego their own wellness while caring for their loved one.

Darrell says “When you learn that the one you love the most in the world may die of brain cancer, your life is changed forever. I knew I had to be strong for Carmen and yet my own emotions were very fragile and, at times, hard to keep in check.” Darrell accompanied Carmen to every appointment, surgery and procedure. But to truly be there for her—both  physically and emotionally—Darrell had to manage his own stress.  That meant accepting help from family, friends, neighbors and co-workers; joining a support group; setting realistic goals for each day and never giving up hope.

Fast forward to today, the importance of instilling hope in others facing a diagnosis of GBM is of paramount importance to Darrell and Carmen. They are enthusiastic speakers within the cancer community, inspiring others with their positive outlook and message of hope. The couple talk about how grateful they are to NFCR for the groundbreaking research done in the GBM field.


The American Brain Tumor Association has built an online Caregiver Resource Center created specifically for brain tumor caregivers by brain tumor caregivers. The extensive online center provides comprehensive information and resources to help caregivers anticipate, prepare for and better cope with the unique needs of caring for someone with a brain tumor.

(Left to Right) NFCR CEO Franklin C. Salisbury, Jr., NFCR President Dr. Sujuan Ba, Carmen Rice and Darrell Rice.


Today’s Research Will Lead to Tomorrow’s Cures


Led by the best and brightest cancer researchers, GBM AGILE is a revolutionary global collaboration to test and develop new brain cancer treatments.  Its personalized approach will allow us to accelerate the discovery of targeted treatments for individual patients.

This global coalition has attracted over 150 participants from more than 40 leading cancer institutions across three continents. It implements a new generation of clinical trials – called “adaptive trials” – which allow patients to be enrolled more quickly, receive treatment with multiple anti-cancer drugs simultaneously and does not require years of follow-up to determine whether a new experimental treatment is beneficial. This revolutionary approach accelerates research for curing the aggressive form of cancer GBM and will serve as a new clinical research model for combating other cancers as well. As a founding member of the coalition, NFCR has continued to take a leading role in this unprecedented effort. It is anticipated that patient enrollment may start in the first quarter of 2018. Stayed tuned!                  


Advice to Caregivers

  • Talk with your doctors about what to expect and how to plan. Recovery after treatment can take a long time and helps to feel prepared. Also ask about palliative care at the beginning of treatment.
  • Reach out to others who are also caring for someone with a brain tumor. Their experiences and insights can be very helpful.
  • Break tasks into manageable pieces.
  • If it’s hard to ask for help, start by picking just two or three things someone else can do.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself or try to be perfect. It’s difficult to adjust to the “new normal.”
  • Know that there is no one right way of doing things.
  • Aim to balance between caring for your loved one, caring for yourself and caring for others in your life.
  • Secure proper authorization that allows you to gather copies of medical and treatment records. If you have not previously done so, discuss end-of-life concerns with the person you are caring for. This is a very difficult yet important conversation to have as advance care directives help ensure that a person’s health care wishes are known and respected.
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Donate Your Special Day to Cancer Research

The statistics are staggering. One in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. This means that cancer will very likely affect each of us at some point in our lives — whether it is through our own personal diagnosis or through that of someone we love. By dedicating your birthday or anniversary or milestone event to the National Foundation for Cancer Research, you can change this.


Make your special day even more meaningful.
It’s easy. Instead of gifts, ask for donations that support life-saving cancer research.

Bring more cures to people worldwide. A new cancer is diagnosed every 20 seconds in the United States. By giving your friends and family the chance to support life-saving cancer research on your behalf, we can change this. Today’s research will bring us tomorrow’s cures!

We make it simple. Sign up and fill your personal fundraising page with stories, photos and updates.

Print out this “I Fight For” sign and fill in the name of a loved one who you fight for. Share it on Facebook or Twitter using #IFightFor and #Research4ACure. Bring awareness and raise much-needed funds to change the future.

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Dr. Jim Allison: Cancer Immunotherapy Pioneer

Szent-Györgyi Prize Winners: Then & Now
The Szent-Györgyi Prize was established in honor of Nobel laureate Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi, co-founder of NFCR, to recognize outstanding scientific achievement in the war against cancer. Ten years later, “ASG Winners: Then & Now” looks at these winners, their extraordinary contributions and how their discoveries have made possible new approaches to treating cancer.


Pictured above from left to right: Dr. Alex Matter, Dr. Jim Allison, Dr. Sujuan Ba

Dr. James Allison

The 2014 annual winner of the Szent-Györgyi Prize was James Allison, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Immunology and Director of the Immunology Platform at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Recently named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People, Dr. Allison’s pioneering cancer research has led to the successful development of a new class of immunotherapy agents known as “checkpoint inhibitors” and the first FDA-approved drug (ipilimumab or Yervoy®) for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.

What are Checkpoint Inhibitors?

The immune system’s ability to detect and destroy abnormal cells may prevent the development of many cancers. However, cancer cells are sometimes able to avoid detection and destruction by the immune system. [1]

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs – often made of antibodies – that prevent immune cells from being turned off by cancer cells. Instead of attacking cancer cells directly, checkpoint inhibitors unleash the body’s own T cells—the soldiers of the immune system—to fight malignancies. Without the presence of these drugs, tumors are able to press on the “brakes” on the surface of T cells—these brakes are known as checkpoints—that halt the body’s immune response in its tracks. Checkpoint inhibitors disable these brakes, allowing T cells to sustain an attack against the tumors.[2]

Dr. Allison’s Discovery of Checkpoint Inhibitors

For decades, scientists tried to find ways to train the immune system to attack tumors in the same way that it attacks bacteria or viruses. But since cancerous cells are born from normal cells, that seemed an impossible task. It was Dr. Allison who figured out how to switch immune cells on to target malignant tumors.

In the early 1980’s, Dr. Allison was one of the first to show that a protein receptor on T cells, the enforcers of the immune system, acts as a checkpoint to shut down immune response. In 1992, he showed that a molecule called CD28 functions as the T cell’s gas pedal, and in 1995, he identified the T cell’s brakes. This led to his development of ipilimumb in 2011. An antibody that targets CTLA-4, ipilimumb blocks the breaks and unleashes a strong immune response, opening an entirely new, transformative approach to treating cancer. Immune checkpoint blockades are now approved for some late stage cancers and hundreds of clinical trials are underway for testing the treatment efficacy of the drugs in earlier stages of these diseases and against other cancers.

Today’s Impact

Checkpoint inhibitors are the most important advance against cancer since chemotherapy. Dr. Allison’s research directly led to the development of ipilimumab- the first drug to significantly extend survival for patients with late-stage melanoma. Prior to this discovery, the median survival of patients of metastatic melanoma was 11 months. In 2014, a retrospective study of 5,000 patients treated with ipilimumab showed that 22% were still alive after 10 years.[3] Other advanced cancers of the lung, kidney and bladder have also shown to respond well to this therapy. Fast forward to today, the FDA has now approved three second-generation checkpoint inhibitors and two other arms of immunotherapy—cancer vaccines and a therapeutic approach known as adoptive T cell transfer, in which a patient’s own T cells are engineered outside the body and reinjected into the bloodstream.[4]

“Dr. Allison’s work has already saved numerous lives and shines a bright light on a future direction of oncology,” said Dr. Alex Matter, CEO of Experimental Therapeutics Centre & D3, A*STAR, Singapore, winner of the 2013 Szent-Györgyi Prize and Chair of this year’s Prize Selection Committee. “He has validated the immunotherapy approach and turned previously widely-held beliefs on their heads with his discoveries. His work is extremely significant and constitutes a turning point in the history of progress in cancer treatments.”






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5 Facts to Know about Sarcoma

July is Sarcoma Awareness Month.  Deemed a “forgotten cancer” because of its rarity, sarcomas are cancers that start in bone, muscle, connective tissue, blood vessels or fat, and can be found anywhere in the body.  In general, there are two types of sarcoma: soft tissue sarcoma and bone sarcoma with more than 50 different subtypes.


  • An estimated 12,390 new cases of soft tissue sarcomas and 3,260 new cases of bone cancers will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017, with more than 6,540 deaths expected to result from the diagnosis.
  • The overall relative five-year survival rate for people with sarcoma is around 50%.
  • When the sarcoma starts in an arm or leg, the five-year survival rates are slightly higher for each stage when compared with sarcoma that starts in other locations.
  • Sarcomas are notorious for recurring and metastasizing — despite complete resections.

Don’t forget to see how you can support Sarcoma Research with our Hope Fund for Sarcoma Research.

Here’s a list of five facts to know about sarcoma:

  1. Sarcomas are rare.

Sarcomas are rare in adults and make up approximately 1% of all adult cancer diagnoses. They are relatively more common among children. Between 1,500 and 1,700 children are diagnosed with a bone or soft tissue sarcoma in the U.S. each year. This makes up about 15% of cancers in children under the age of 20.

  1. Sarcoma can develop nearly anywhere in the body.

Common areas sarcoma tumors grow in include the legs, hands, arms, head, neck, chest, shoulders, abdomen and hips.  About 50%-60% of soft tissue sarcomas occur in extremities (arms and legs).[i]

  1. For most sarcomas, the cause is not known.

Although there are no known risk factors for sarcoma, certain genetic conditions, radiation exposure and some chemicals may increase the risk of developing sarcoma in some individuals.

Genetic conditions such as Neurofibromatosis, Gardner syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Retinoblastoma, Werner syndrome, Gorlin syndrome, tuberous sclerosis and damage to the lymph system can increase the risk of developing sarcoma.

Patients might also develop sarcomas from radiation given to treat other cancers like breast cancer, cervical cancer, lymphoma and retinoblastoma. The sarcoma often starts in the area of the body that had been treated with radiation, and on average, can take about 10 years to develop. Radiation exposure accounts for less than 5% of sarcomas.

Exposure to vinyl chloride, arsenic, dioxin and herbicides that contain high doses of phenoxyacetic acid may also increase risk of sarcoma. [ii]

Additionally, researchers are now studying genetic abnormalities and chromosome mutations as possible causes as well.

  1. Sarcomas are difficult to detect and diagnose.

Because they are so rare and can take multiple forms in multiple locations, sarcomas are difficult to detect and often misdiagnosed. In their early stages, soft tissue sarcomas rarely display any symptoms other than a painless lump. As the tumor grows, pain may occur depending on where the tumor is located, or if it presses on nearby nerves.

  1. If you’ve been diagnosed with sarcoma, get a second opinion.

With a rare and complex cancer, such as sarcoma, it is important to seek the best possible care to improve your chance of survival. Many doctors have never seen or treated a patient with sarcoma. Get a second opinion from a doctor that specializes in sarcoma about the initial diagnosis and the treatment plan, even if you are being treated at a major cancer center.Using advanced genomic and molecular technologies, NFCR-funded research has made significant discoveries in the development of and treatment for sarcoma.



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The Hope Fund for Sarcoma

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). Click here to support sarcoma research!  Together we will find a cure for sarcoma… and all cancers.

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Ally Minker: A Young Woman Determined to Make a Difference

For the third year in a row, Play4TheCure® and minor league baseball are teaming up to raise money and awareness for cutting-edge cancer research— a partnership started by National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) Youth Ambassador Ally Minker.

Nearly nine years ago, Matt Minker passed away from cancer. Baseball was one of his greatest passions and he imparted that love to his granddaughter Ally. To honor his life and love of baseball, Ally took it upon herself to raise awareness about the importance of cancer research to the masses.  Just like us, Ally envisions a world without cancer. To date, her efforts have raised $7500.

To help Ally honor her grandfather’s memory and give others the hope of a future without cancer, please consider donating to Ally’s Crowdrise Campaign


This summer, the following local teams have heeded Ally’s call and committed games to the Play4TheCure mission:


Bethesda Big Train Summer Collegiate Baseball

When: Thursday, July 6th at 7pm vs. Baltimore Dodgers

Where: 10600 Westlake Drive, Bethesda, MD 20852

To purchase tickets, click here.

Frederick Keys Minor League Baseball

When: Sunday, July 23rd at 2pm vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks

Where: 21 Stadium Drive Frederick, Maryland 21703

To purchase tickets, click here.

Bowie Baysox “Knock Cancer Out of the Park” Night

When: Friday, July 28th at 7:05 pm vs. Akron Rubber Duck

Where: 4101 Crain Hwy, Bowie, MD 20716

To purchase tickets, click here and enter “NFCR” (in all CAPS) in the special offer code box.


Keep an eye out as Ally is working to add more games to the schedule!


Become A Youth Ambassador

The NFCR Youth Ambassador program is an opportunity for top high school students to serve as leaders in raising awareness and support for cutting-edge cancer research. Ambassadors can combine their passion for sports, science, and/or the arts with community service to bring new energy to cancer research fundraising. Together we will find a cure for all cancers. To learn more, click here.


About Play4TheCure

Play4TheCure inspires young athletes and their teams to leverage their passion for sports to “Play4” loved ones affected by cancer and encourages them to actively participate in working to fund cancer research to make a difference. To learn more, click here.

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The Bountiful Benefits of Beans

eat your beans feature

In honor of National Eat Your Beans Day, we’d like to boast about the bountiful benefits beans provide. Black beans… Great Northern beans… garbanzo beans… kidney beans… lima beans… no matter which you chose, beans provide a myriad of health benefits. In general, ½ cup of beans provides 7 grams of protein, the same amount as in 1 ounce of chicken, meat or fish. Beans are low in fat, filled with fiber and contain a powerhouse of micronutrients and antioxidants like copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. In fact, research suggests that eating beans regularly may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, reduce risk of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers and help with weight management.

Data compiled from 41 countries revealed that countries with the greatest consumption of beans had the lowest mortality rates due to colon cancer.[i] In a Harvard study from the International Journal of Cancer, 90,638 cancer free women between 26 and 46 years old were monitored for eight years. Those who ate beans or lentils two or more times per week had a 34% lower risk of breast cancer than women who ate them one or fewer times per month.[ii] Additionally, data from 15 countries revealed that countries with the greatest consumption of beans had the lowest death rates due to prostate cancer.[iii]

Beans are an extremely versatile food and can be served in many ways— from soups and chilis to salads, veggie burgers and enchiladas to desserts like brownies, the possibilities are seemingly endless.  Try our favorite Cancer-Fighting Black Bean Brownies… but we must warn you, these brownies are seriously addicting and it’s impossible to eat just one. Try them and let us know what you think 


Cancer-Fighting Black Bean Brownies

(Recipe originally seen on CancerHawk)



4 oz. unsweetened chocolate (72% cocoa or higher)
1 cup unsalted butter or non-hydrogenated butter substitute
2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup brewed coffee
¼ tsp sea salt
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups light agave nectar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 11” by 18” baking pan with parchment paper.  Spray with canola oil.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely.
  3. Place the soft-cooked beans, ½ cup of walnuts, vanilla extract and a couple spoonfuls of melted chocolate mixture into the food processor. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth. Batter should be thick and the beans smooth.  Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ½ cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee and salt.  Mix well and set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the eggs until light & creamy- about 1 minute.
  6. Add the agave nectar & beat well.  Set aside.
  7. Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture.  Stir until blended well.
  8. Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup. Mix well & pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy.  Drizzle over the brownie batter.
  10. Use a wooden toothpick to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect.
  11. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares.  These brownies are very rich, so cut them into small squares.  (Please note:  The brownies will be soft until they are refrigerated.)  Store in the refrigerator.

Makes 45 or so (2-inch brownies)





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Welcome to Our NEW Website

Welcome to the brand new National Foundation for Cancer Research website! After six months of hard work and dedication, we are delighted to officially announce the launch of the new and improved

Throughout the new site, you will discover a wealth of content, all of which is now built to be responsive to multiple devices. Visit us from your desktop, laptop or mobile device and easily access our information and stories to see first-hand the life-saving impact of your charitable giving dollars.

The new website has many new features, as well as some brought over from the previous site.  New content and features include:

  • Meet Our Scientists. A brand new section where you can get to know each NFCR-funded scientist and see what they are working on. Although this elite group of men and women come from diverse backgrounds and specialize in different areas of research, they are united by one common goal and that is to find a cure for cancer — for all cancers.
  • Areas of Focus. From life-saving breakthroughs in immunotherapy to advances in metastasis research, cancer genetics, precision medicine, anti-angiogenic therapies and more, NFCR-funded scientists are leading the way into a new era of cancer prevention, detection and treatment.
  • Cancer Types. NFCR-funded scientists are all, in some way, using cancer genomics, but there are still certain cancer types that are most impacted by their projects. Specifics about those projects – as well as the cancer diagnoses – can be found here.
  • About Us. Learn more about the National Foundation for Cancer Research.
  • Get Involved. Arts4TheCure. Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research. Youth Ambassador Program. Daffodils and Diamonds. It’s easy to find a program that you’re passionate about and make a difference.
  • Ways to Give. There are so many different ways you can support life-saving cancer research today and in the future.
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest news in breakthrough discoveries, prevention tips, cancer-fighting recipes, inspiring supporter stories and more.

We value your opinion!

Have a look around and let us know what you think of our new website. All comments and feedback are welcome. Please also let us know if you cannot find something or would like to make a suggestion for new information or topics.

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FDA Approves First Cancer Drug Based on Genetics… Not Tumor Location

Just last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the cancer medicine— Keytruda® (generic name pembrolizumab)— to treat cancers that have a specific genetic mutation or biomarker. This is the first time a cancer treatment has been approved based on a biomarker rather than the body location where the cancer originates.

What is Keytruda?

Keytruda was first introduced in 2014 and is part of a new class of drugs called PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitors that help the immune system fight cancer by blocking a mechanism tumors use to evade detection. By blocking this pathway, Keytruda enables the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells.

Already approved to treat a variety of cancers including melanoma, lung cancer, head and neck cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, and urothelial carcinoma,[i] Keytruda can now also be used to treat adult and pediatric patients whose cancer has the biomarker MSI-H (microsatellite instability) or dMMR (mismatch repair).

For decades, cancer drugs have typically been approved and used to treat cancer based on the body location the cancer originates. The FDA’s approval of Keytruda based on genetics signifies a major paradigm shift in cancer treatment.

What does this mean for patients?

In five clinical trials, nearly 150 patients whose tumors had the MSI-H or the dMMR genetic defect were studied. Nearly 40% of the patients studied experienced significant tumor shrinkage. More than half of the participating patients were diagnosed with colorectal cancer while the others had 14 different cancer types. Based on these results, Keytruda received a priority review designation, which means the FDA sped the review process to six months from the usual 10 months. The new FDA approval allows Keytruda to be used in tumors with the genetic defect that have progressed following prior treatment with other drugs, and have no satisfactory alternative treatment options.

Tumors with the biomarker MSI-H or dMMR are present in an estimated 4% of cancers.[ii] Most commonly found in colorectal, endometrial and gastrointestinal cancers, this genetic defect has also been present in some breast, prostate, bladder, thyroid as well as other cancers.

“Advances in understanding how cancer behaves at the genomic and molecular level are helping oncologists treat cancer with greater success,” said Franklin C. Salisbury, NFCR CEO. “Research funded by the NFCR has been focusing on DNA for years and our organization supports the up-and-coming, widespread focus on cancer genomics. This shift is still in its infancy but is already having a profound effect on the way cancer is treated.”

The FDA’s approval of Keytruda based on genetic defect is great news for patients— especially those whose tumors might not benefit from standard treatments approved for specific tumor sites as it will enable patients to receive the most promising treatments for their disease as quickly as possible.



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