Sarcoma Foundation of America Announces 11 New Research Grants, Raises More than $925,000, Honors Courageous Patients

April 29, 2010

NEW YORK, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA)’s Eighth Annual Fundraising Gala on Monday, April 26, raised more than $925,000, an all-time record for the non-profit group dedicated to increasing research that will find new and better therapies for patients with sarcoma, a rare connective tissue cancer. Funding from the Gala directly supports grants for sarcoma researchers and assists with education and advocacy initiatives on behalf of sarcoma patients.

In their commitment to increase sarcoma’s visibility and consideration in the medical arena, SFA presented an American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Foundation Advanced Clinical Research Award of $500,000 to David G. Kirsch, MD, PhD, Duke University Medical Center, along with 10 additional $25,000 research grants, to:

  • Zhenfeng Duan, MD, PhD, Director, Sarcoma Research Laboratory Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Yves Labelle, PhD, Researcher, Research Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Quebec
  • Mizuki Azuma, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas Center for Research
  • E. Anders Kolb, MD, Director, Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation, A.I. duPont Hospital for Children
  • William A. May, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics Saban Research Institute
  • Frederic G. Barr, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Nancy B. Kuemmerle, PhD, Research Fellow, Department of Physiology Dartmouth Medical School
  • Matthew Anderson, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Anand K. Singh, MD, Fellow – Radiology, Department of 3D Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Igor Matushansky, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center

Including these research grants, SFA has now given a total of 50 research grants, four ASCO Young Investigator Awards and two ASCO Foundation Advanced Clinical Research Awards since its inception in 2000.

“Funding translational research grants is key to our mission of discovering new and improved therapies for sarcoma patients,” said Mark Thornton, MD, PhD, President of SFA. “Funding for this rare disease provides incredible intrinsic value and hope to a community of cancer patients who are often overlooked.”

At the reception, the SFA honored some of these patients with the Courage Award for their strength and perseverance in their battle against sarcoma. Standing as a role model among patients, families and friends, All-American Linebacker and sarcoma survivor Mark Herzlich accepted the award and reiterated the need to “continue to fight and persevere until we understand and defeat sarcoma.” Other award recipients included, Alex Burdo, Nadia Hannan, Kaitlyn Liotti, Candace Sue, Luke Weber, and Ashleigh Lau.

At its Annual Patient Education Conference on April 26, the SFA showcased the latest in sarcoma research. During the conference, six world-renowned doctors lectured and answered questions directly from the patients in attendance.

“The opportunity for sarcoma patients and families to speak directly to these world-renowned physicians in a more informal, less clinical situation is something that makes our conference unique, where patients can get their questions answered and share that knowledge with others in the sarcoma community” said SFA Executive Director Matthew Alsante. “Even in the tightly knit sarcoma community, there are few opportunities outside of this conference for this level of information sharing.”

The conference featured research including medical advances improving the lives of those with sarcoma, such as European sarcoma drug approval and rare cancer strategies, the future of targeted therapy, advances in sarcoma pathology, osteosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma and Ewing’s Sarcoma research. The conference attracted more than 100 attendees including patients, advocates and researchers.

About Sarcoma

Sarcoma is a rare cancer in adults (1 percent of all adult cancers), but rather prevalent in children (about 15 percent of all childhood cancers). It is made up of many “subtypes” because it can arise from a variety of tissue structures (nerves, muscles, joints, bone, fat, blood vessels – these are collectively referred to as the body’s “connective tissues”). Because these tissues are found everywhere on the body, sarcomas can arise anywhere. Every year about 12,000 new sarcoma cases are diagnosed and about 5,000 people die from Sarcoma.

About the Sarcoma Foundation of America

The Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) advocates for increased research to find new and better therapies with which to treat patients with Sarcoma. The organization raises money to privately fund grants for Sarcoma researchers and conducts education and advocacy efforts on behalf of Sarcoma patients.

SOURCE Sarcoma Foundation of America

Source: newswire

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