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cancer research

NFCR’s Genomics Newsroom: Discovery of New Lung Cancer Mutation

What is “genomics”?

Cancer develops when genetic material (DNA) becomes damaged or changed. We know some cancer causing genetic changes are acquired (i.e. smoking), while others are inherited. Studying cancer genomics explores the differences between cancer cells and normal host cells. Advances in understanding how cancer behaves at a genomic and molecular level is helping doctors treat cancer “smarter”.

More Treatment Options for NSCLC Patients with ROS1+ Gene Mutation

lung-cancer-blogIn March 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first and only drug – crizotinib (also known as Xaldori) – to treat people with advanced (metastatic) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors express the ROS1+ mutation. For NSCLC patients with ROS1+ mutation, crizotinib has stopped the growth and spread of their cancer.

Researchers at University of Colorado Cancer Center have uncovered what they believe to be the cause of this drug resistance: A mutation in the KIT gene, as well as a potential solution. Initial studies show that introducing the drug ponatinib to the treatment regimen may reverse drug resistance, allowing patients to reap the benefits of crizotinib for a longer period of time.

Although further research is needed, this is an important milestone for patients with ROS1+ NSCLC who previously had limited treatment options.

Genomic Testing

While traditional methods treat cancer based on the body part where the cancer first originated, genomic testing looks at cancer on the molecular level.

Genomic testing reveals the unique genomic drivers for each patient’s cancer. This empowers oncologists to design optimal, individualized therapies to maximize treatment success.

To find out if your cancer has ROS1+ or KIT gene mutation, learn more about genomic testing and ask your doctor if it’s right for you.

Related NFCR-Funded Research

A team lead by Dr. Alice Shaw, an NFCR-supported scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, is developing a new platform that can rapidly identify effective drug combinations for lung cancer patients whose tumors have stopped responding to targeted therapy. The team is growing cells in the laboratory that were taken directly from the patients’ cancer and treating them with a host of different drug combinations to find the ones that work. Dr. Shaw says “this strategy might be used to select the optimal treatment for each individual patient, and could also be applied to other types of cancer.”

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Art with a Heart

Artist Extraordinaire: Dana Rosenberg


Elaine Currie, NFCR Donor Relations Officer with artist Dana Rosenberg Photography and woodcuts are only some of Dana’s favorite mediums. Writing poetry has also become a passion.

Dana Rosenberg is a gifted artist whose life bursts with color and creativity – her mantra is “art keeps me alive!”

A Somers, NY resident, Dana is 84 years young, wears a homemade wreath of roses in her hair every day and is a life-long producer of beautiful art.  Dana has worked in special education, has been an art teacher and an art history professor. Her distinguished career has inspired hundreds of creative pieces; watercolors, etchings, weavings, sculpture, p

Cancer research is important to the Rosenberg family. During a 10 year period, Dana accompanied her son to Memorial Hospital for treatment approximately 50 years ago and encountered many very sick children, these sights were so powerful they’ve remained with Dana all these years. The traumatic memories are what propel this special octogenarian to give to The National Foundation for Cancer Research. Her examples of generosity and hope are priceless.

During the months of September and October 2016, Dana’s lovely work is on display and may be purchased at The Somers Library, 82 Primrose Street, Katonah, NY 10536. 100% of all sales will fund cancer research via the National Foundation for Cancer Research, Shriner’s Hospital for Childrendana-group-pic and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. “Art comes out of my heart!” says Dana.  Individuals who buy her work truly get a reward for their meaningful donation. Dana also has a poetry reading of her work at The Somers Library on October 16th.

For additional information, please call The Somers Library at 914-232-5717 or visit

Dana reflects, “This is what I am able to do to make a difference in the lives of others and giving is important to me.This is a small way for me to help rid the world of cancer.”

NFCR salutes Dana Rosenberg’s beautiful spirit. Using her gifts as a local artist, Dana is making a difference in world-wide cancer care and research for a cure!

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Taste the Cancer-Fighting Power of Curcumin

Curcumin has been used for centuries in India and other parts of Southeast Asia as both a cooking spice and a medicine to treat arthritis and gastrointestinal upset. Some studies have shown that curcumin may be helpful in treating or preventing certain cancers including triple negative breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.

** Please note: if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, consult with your medical team prior to making new additions to your diet or lifestyle changes.

So how can we add curcumin to our diets? Cook with the spice TUMERIC- it’s active ingredient is curcumin.

The recipe below has even more healthy benefits as salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that provide well-documented benefits for the heart and brain.

Sweet Lemon-Pepper Turmeric Salmon 

(Recipe adapted from Perchance To Cook)

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

¼ cup lemon juice
a large pinch of ground black pepper
¼ tsp + ⅛ tsp of ground turmeric, divided
½ tsp honey or agave nectar
½ pound of salmon (about 8 ounces- use wild salmon if possible)
extra slices of lemon
an extra drizzle of honey


  1. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, a large pinch of ground black pepper, ¼ tsp of ground turmeric, and ½ tsp of honey together.
  2. Place your salmon into a large ziplock bag, pour the lemon mixture into the bag, and put everything into the fridge to marinate for about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Remove the salmon from the bag and place on a cookie sheet. Cover the salmon fillets in two spoonfuls of the mixture from the bag, and then place the salmon skin side up.
  5. Cook for 6 minutes, and then flip the salmon so that it is flesh side up. Then, sprinkle ⅛ tsp of ground turmeric on top of the salmon and sprinkle some more pepper on top. Cover each filet with a slice of lemon and a drizzle of honey.
  6. Cook for 6 more minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily.

Other ways to add tumeric to your diet: 

Try tossing turmeric with roasted vegetables. Cauliflower is especially delicious served this way. You can even sprinkle it on scrambled eggs or soups, or blend it into a smoothie.

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Meet Betty Locke

Betty has been donating to the Fly to Find a Cure program for the past 8 years.bettyphoto

I’ve loved to travel since I was a little girl. Sadly, my father passed away from liver cancer when I was 12 years old. Then, my husband died in 2001 from the same type of cancer. Donating to the National Foundation for Cancer Research’s Fly to Find a Cure program makes me feel like I’m helping people everywhere, including myself. It’s always wonderful to get the extra mileage to visit the places I want to go.” says Locke.

What is Fly to Find a Cure?

Fly to Find a Cure is a program of the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) aimed at raising funds to accelerate vital cancer research. You can donate with Fly to Find a Cure and get air miles in return for your gift.

We are proud to offer earning power from American Airlines AAdvantage®, United MileagePlus®, Delta SkyMiles® and most recently, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan®. This a great way to keep your mileage account active, and as in Betty’s case, earn airline miles to go somewhere special.


Now through October 152016 you can earn up to 50% more mileage for every dollar donated.

Your contribution, like Betty’s, will help NFCR scientists find cures for all types of cancers.  Travel the world and fund vital cancer research that saves lives. It’s a win-win. Donate TODAY at or call Melissa White at 1-800-321-CURE (2873)

“Cancer is a disease that can be cured…” – Nobel Laureate and National Foundation for Cancer Reserarch Co-Founder Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi


Award Scale: Up to 15 miles per dollar with a donation of $100 or more
Fair Market Value: $0.0241875 per mile
Mileage Cap: 1,000,000 miles per account per calendar year

Click here to donate 

american-milesAward Scale: Up to 15 miles per dollar with a donation of $100 or more
Fair Market Value: $0.022575 per mile
Mileage Cap: 1 million miles per account per rolling year

Click here to donate 

united_mileage_plus_3p_4c_r2Award Scale: Up to 13.5 miles per dollar with a donation of $100 or more
Fair Market Value: $0.028 per mile
Mileage Cap: 250,000 miles per account per rolling year

Click here to donate

delta-milesAward Scale: Up to 13 miles per dollar with a donation of $100 or more
Fair Market Value: $0.023650 per mile
Mileage Cap: 200,000 miles per account per calendar year

Click here to donate 

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Get Even MORE Airline Miles Today!

Where will you be frolicking this fall?  Let our airlines miles program help you get there!

What is Fly to Find A Cure?

Fly to Find A Cure is a program of the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) aimed at raising crucial funds to accelerate vital can
cer research projects.  For every dollar donated, you earn airline mileage from your choice of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan®, American Airlines AAdvantage®, United MileagePlus® or Delta SkyMiles®.  A major portion of your gift is tax deductible.  This is also a great way to keep an account active.  Fly to Find A Cure miles can even be given as a gift to family or friends.

What is
Fly to Find A Cure’s Fall Bonus Miles Program?

Now through October 15th, Fly to Find A Cure’s Fall Bonus Miles Program allows you to earn up to 15 miles per dollar (instead of our usual 10) while supporting groundbreaking cancer research.  This provides a win-win opportunity for travelers who care about putting an end to this dreaded disease.

Together We Can Put an End to Cancer

The statistics are staggering: 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. This means that cancer will very likely affect each and every one of us at some point in our lives — whether it is through our own personal diagnosis or through that of someone we love.   The only way to stop cancer is to cure it – through research.

Give a generous gift today to help find a cure for cancer and you’ll be that much closer to taking the trip you’ve dreamed about!

“Cancer is a disease that can be cured…” – Nobel Laureate and National Foundation for Cancer Reserarch Co-Founder Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi

american-milesAward Scale: Up to 15 miles per dollar with a donation of $100 or more
Fair Market Value: $0.022575 per mile
Mileage Cap: 1 million miles per account per rolling year

Click here to donate 

united_mileage_plus_3p_4c_r2Award Scale: Up to 13.5 miles per dollar with a donation of $100 or more
Fair Market Value: $0.028 per mile
Mileage Cap: 250,000 miles per account per rolling year

Click here to donate

delta-milesAward Scale: Up to 13 miles per dollar with a donation of $100 or more
Fair Market Value: $0.023650 per mile
Mileage Cap: 200,000 miles per account per calendar year

Click here to donate 

Award Scale: Up to 15 miles per dollar with a donation of $100 or more
Fair Market Value: $0.0241875 per mile
Mileage Cap: 1,000,000 miles per account per calendar year

Click here to donate 

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Welcoming Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

We are pleased to welcome Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan as the newest way to earn with Fly to Find a Cure.  Along with its Global Partners, Alaska Mileage Plan offers its members the ability to earn and redeem miles to over 800 destinations around the world.  With this new earning opportunity, you can help cancer research soar to new heights.

When you donate with Fly to Find A Cure, you receive airline miles in exchange for your support of cutting-edge cancer research funded by the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR).  Here’s how it works:  Make a tax-deductible contribution of $25 or more to NFCR and receive 10 airline miles per dollar towards your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

Other NFCR partners include American Airlines AAdvantage, United Airlines MileagePlus® and Delta SkyMiles® .  To learn more about Fly to Find A Cure, visit

Take advantage of this new earning opportunity – Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan plus Fly to Find a Cure – and donate today!  Now you can earn your dream vacation and help fund the scientific breakthroughs that will save lives!

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Women in Science – Dr. Sujuan Ba – CRS Luncheon 2011

NFCR’s  Dr. Sujuan Ba Energizes Women in Science at CRS Annual Luncheon

sujuanbaAugust 2011 –Sujuan Ba, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer of the National Foundation for Cancer Research, was the featured speaker at the  Controlled Release Society (CRS) Women in Science Forum Luncheon.  Dr. Ba described her tenacious climb through the pharmaceutical and scientific fields, arriving at her current position where she oversees NFCR’s organizational strategic and tactical operations, fundraising and partnership development, and financial planning and management. Dr. Ba’s talk, entitled “Forging a Path on the Road Less Traveled By a Scientist,” included segments on her establishment of a powerful network of research centers and laboratories in the United States, Europe, and Asia – a network which has enabled NFCR Scientists to focus on critical aspects of cancer research.

Dr. Ba was selected by CRS for her innovative and collaborative approach to merging scientific thought with an entrepreneurial spirit.  She encouraged the attendees to never stop learning and to continue to look for the next opportunity for growth, while outlining the key skills necessary for women to succeed in science.  The talk was part of the 38th Annual Meeting & Exposition of the Controlled Release Society, held on July 30 – August 3, 2011 at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland.  The event was sponsored by Roche.

The Controlled Release Society (CRS) is the premier society worldwide for delivery science and technology. More information on Dr. Ba can be found on their website.

2016 Update: Dr. Sujuan Ba continues to forge paths on the road less traveled by a scientist.
She has since been promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer at NFCR. As a woman in the executive suite as well as an entrepreneur, Dr. Ba continuously innovates.  She continues to work collaboratively across cultures and countries in a tireless effort to disrupt cancer’s deadly path. When President Barack Obama announced a new cancer moonshot during his State of the Union Address January 12,2016, NFCR was already well positioned to be available to help on the international cancer research platform due to the GBM-AGILE initiative and her already established science connections in China.

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How To Talk to Kids About Cancer

Of the many questions we get asked, among the most difficult is the question, “How do I talk to my child about cancer?”

Cancer is not contagious. Cancer is also not a singular disease but any of a group of medical issues that begin with abnormal cell growth. We can talk about cancer in entirely new ways because we have learned so much more about cells and genes since genome sequencing has become possible, As a result, It is no longer where the cancer is (as in lung, pancreas, brain) but what it is. By understanding what type of tumor or cell characteristics exist, doctors can make better decisions. The more genes we can sequence and test our data against, the better the chances of a good outcome. Big data, large data repositories make a difference.

talk about the Alphabet soup of drugs and chemicals (photo)

talk about the alphabet soup of drugs and chemicals

Today, cancer is still fought primarily through surgery, chemo and radiation but also, because of cancer research and computer tools, more targeted therapies are possible. Precision Medicine is that area of treatment that focuses precisely on a cancer based on its characteristics. More survivors, more solutions through research.

We have found some really good pages on the web, written for children, to answer their questions. You can help them understand what cancer is and how to talk about it by checking out some of these resources.


BIOLOGY FOR KIDS:  What is cancer? Here are some simple easy explanations

FOR YOUNGER KIDS:  We recommend: Wonderopolis – Have you ever wondered “what is cancer?” What are tumors? What is metastasis?  They give great answers

FOR HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC KIDS WHO WANT FACTS: This adult presentation answers the unasked question – are all tumors cancerous? (No!) and it provides simple visuals and language to explain the very scary brain cancers

Have you found other materials, resources and words that help you talk to children about cancer?  Please share them with us. We will help compile and pass along the information to others in need.

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Minor League Baseball and Play4TheCure

For the second year in a row, Play4TheCure and minor league baseball are teaming up this summer to raise money and awareness for cutting-edge cancer research. The program was started by National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) Youth Ambassador Ally Minker.

Inspired by the passing of her grandfather, Ally took it upon herself to motivate others and advance the cause towards a cure for cancer by involving as many baseball teams as possible. Baseball was one of her granfather’s greatest passions and he imparted that to Ally. So naturally, she turned to the community he loved so much to honor his memory.Primary_Logo_Color

This year, teams in the Carolina League as well as the Quad City River Bandits have heeded Ally’s call and committed games to the Play4TheCure mission. The growth of the program within the sport of baseball is a testament to Ally’s dedication to serving others and saving lives through cancer research.

Here’s a list of teams participating this year:

  • Wilmington Blue Rocks – 7/30/16 – 7:05 PM vs. Frederick Keys – BUY TICKETS and be sure to use promo code “PLAY” | $2 for every ticket sold will go to support cancer research
  • Quad Cities River Bandits (Davenport, IA) – 8/7/16 – 1:15 PM vs. Burlington Bees
  • Ft. Myers Miracles – 8/11/16 – 7:05 PM – vs. Charlotte Stone Crabs
  • Frederick Keys – 8/16/16 – 6:00 PM – vs. Lynchburg Hillcats
  • Charlotte (FL) Stone Crabs – 8/20/16 – 6:05 PM – vs. Bradenton Marauders
  • Tampa Yankees – 8/27/16 – 6:35 PM – vs. Brevard County Manatees
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Be Like Amos – Our 9 Year Old Philanthropist

The NFCR staff was touched by this very special donation. Read his story and share it freely with others. It made our day and we hope it makes yours as well. Meet Amos, our now famous, 9 year old Philanthropist:

photo of Amos. Our 9 year old philanthropist Amos_Porter

From left to right: Arlo (5), Amos (9), and Phil

Less than one year ago, Amos’ father, Phil, experienced a sore throat and noticed a spot on the back of his throat. Phil went to see his general practitioner as well as an ENT doctor who made the diagnosis, tonsillar cancer.  Phil received extraordinary treatment from his surgical team at UPENN followed by thirty treatments of proton radiation therapy to beat his cancer.

A member of a close-knit family, Amos is a sociable, spirited, great boy who loves to wrestle, ride his bike and swim.  He just celebrated his ninth birthday at a local pool.  In place of gift-giving, the family thought they could help make a difference.  Amos asked his friends to contribute to the National Foundation for Cancer Research in honor of his father’s successful battle with cancer.  He collected an impressive $130.00 that became $260.00 since it was received during the NFCR Matching Gift Campaign!

Amos, his parents and his little brother, Arlo, decided to donate to NFCR “since they research all types of cancers and they have a great reputation.”

Amos is proud to help fund NFCR because his father benefited so much from cancer research! Phil is doing very well now and gives credit to his doctors and his family.

NFCR salutes Amos for his generosity and compassion!  This generosity also says a lot about his family. The world needs more 9 year olds like Amos. What a wonderful family. What a wonderful heartfelt gift.

Please share this story – you can make a difference with this one simple act.  Use and spread the cheer. Also you can  Be like Amos and make a difference. Donate here. 

AN UPDATE: AUGUST 18, 2016BeLikeAmos cancer research screen capture 1000 views

With permission from Amos and his family, we shared this post on FaceBook and Twitter. Today, BeLikeAmos has now just exceeded ONE THOUSAND  views – making it one of the most popular posts at NFCR. With all the strife and shouting out there in the world ….isn’t it time for more of us to Be Like Amos- and quietly make a difference.Every voice and every donation – big and small – makes a difference. Thank you Amos and thanks family and friends and donors. By funding Cancer Research, you are helping to save lives!

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