Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Center  From its origins as the New York Cancer Hospital in 1884, Memorial Sloan-Kettering has continued to set the global standard of excellence in cancer treatment, research, and education. The primary goal of the Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Center, which was established in 1986, is to address the functions of speech, swallowing and hearing, not only as they relate to patients with head and neck cancer, but to all patients with dysfunction of these vital senses who suffer from cancer and are treated at Memorial. Under the direction of Dr. Dennis H. Kraus, the Center has many initiatives in 2008 that Hackers For Hope has helped to fund. • Dr. Ryan Branski continues work in the mechanism of laryngeal wound healing. This work evaluates the molecular basis for wound healing in the setting of vocal cord injury. By understanding insights into this molecular mechanism, it provides insights into the potential use of drugs/medications to impact upon this mechanism. • In addition, Dr. Branski continues to develop mechanisms for the measure of speech and swallowing function, which has allowed MSK to take a leading role in the evaluation and treatment of head and neck cancer related speech and swallowing dysfunction. • Use of traditional MRI in assessment of speech and swallowing dysfunction • Quality of life measures with Dr. Andrea Pusic, a member of the plastic surgery service who has extensive experience in neck and head reconstruction and Dr. Snehal Patel in the head and neck service.      Stamford Hospital - Bennett Cancer Center  The Carl and Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center at Stamford Hospital provides compassionate, patient-centered care from diagnosis through treatment to post-treatment care.  The Center is also committed to prevention, education and the early detection of cancer. Hackers For Hope's support has enabled the Center to purchase a vehicle for the local chapter of the American Red Cross to bring patients who didn't have a means of transportation to their treatments.  For a number of years our support has also underwritten this transportation program provided by the American Red Cross. The Bennett Cancer Center uses Hackers For Hope funds to help support clinical research. On average eight to twelve percent of cancer patients at The Bennett Cancer Center are enrolled in studies compared to an average of 3 percent at other similar institutions. The Center participates in more clinical trials than any other community hospital in the state.    Patients are currently participating in 31 trials for cancers including melanoma, breast, and multiple myeloma. Patients who participate in trials have access to new treatments in addition to standard therapies giving them more  tools to fight their disease.      Robert H. McCooey Cancer Research Fund at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center  Hackers For Hope contributions to this fund have helped enable work in the fight against genitourinary cancers. The research program is focused on understanding the events that contribute to the progression of urologic cancers, and developing new more effective therapies to treat advanced prostate, kidney and bladder cancer. The symbiotic relationship between our merged hospital and medical college allows for exclusive New York-Presbyterian Hospital clinical trials based on research performed only at Weill Cornell Medical College.  With the addition of Scott Tagawa, M.D., as well as key recruitments in the Department of Pathology and Urology, the clinical and research program is rapidly growing, as is the opportunity for significant clinical advances.      Keck School of Medicine /USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center  The Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) improves the quality of life for individuals and society by promoting health, preventing and curing disease, advancing biomedical research and educating tomorrow’s physicians and scientists.  The Keck School is a major center for basic and clinical biomedical research, with particular emphasis in the fields of cancer, gene therapy, the neurosciences, and transplantation biology, and continues to expand programs of excellence, develop new multidisciplinary programs and create an environment of intellectual enthusiasm, involvement, and shared objectives. The USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, located in Los Angeles, is a major regional and national resource for cancer research, treatment, prevention and education. More than 190 basic scientists, physicians and other Keck School of Medicine of USC faculty members who are members of the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center investigate the complex origins and progression of cancer, develop prevention strategies and search for cures. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has designated the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center as one of the nation's 39 comprehensive cancer centers, a select group of institutions providing leadership in cancer treatment, research, prevention and education. USC/Norris has held this designation since 1973, when it was named as one of the first eight comprehensive cancer centers.   Pancreatic Cancer Action Network  Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is the national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure.  The organization raises money for direct private funding of research -- and advocates for more aggressive federal research funding of medical breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network fills the void of information and options by giving patients and caregivers reliable, personalized information they need to make informed decisions.  The organization helps support individuals and communities all across the country work together to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.  We create a sense of hope and community so no one has to face pancreatic cancer alone.   PITTSBURGh Beneficiaries        University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute  More than 200,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer each year, making it the most common cancer among women.  Although most breast cancers occur in women who do not have a strong family history of the disease, about ten percent are linked to a genetic predisposition.  Researchers have identified two specific genes that, when changed or mutated, increase the risk of breast cancer.  Women who have either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation have a 50 to 80 percent lifetime risk of breast cancer.  Further, breast cancer progresses more quickly in women with BRCA gene mutations than in those without the mutation (non-carriers.)  Male and female BRCA carriers also have an increased risk of ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancer.  In the United States’ population, it is estimated that between one out of 345 and one out of 1,000 individuals carries a BRCA mutation, compared with approximately one in 40 individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Most importantly, the research supported through this program will have long lasting effects by generating insights on how cancer may be prevented, improvements in early detection methods, development of more successful treatments for people who carry the BRCA mutation, better counseling for people who carry the mutations, and more rapid development of screening and preventive interventions for affected families.       Education and Training of Future Pediatric Oncology Leaders  Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s Division of Hematology/Oncology offers two fellowships in this sub-specialty annually.  Each fellowship is for a three-year period, with the first year devoted to clinical training and the remaining two years focused on laboratory research.  There are fewer than 60 fellowships of this kind throughout the country, and Children’s Hospital receives approximately 50 applications from young MD’s each year for its two fellowship positions.    The impact of this program is high.  The fellowship-research experience engenders a lifelong interest in connecting the lab to the bedside for these physicians.  This approach informs their work and inevitably places them in the forefront of clinical advances and leadership.