The support provided by the Hackers for Hope has been invaluable for the development of a novel anticancer compound. The compound targets a gene discovered by our group and had proven to be highly effective in treating many different cancers in mice, including melanoma, breast, lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. Based on these findings, we were awarded 5.5 million dollar R01 research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute. More importantly, we recently signed an agreement with a private company who will take the compound we discovered to human trials. It is important to note that none of this would have transpired without the support provided by the Hackers for Hope. We are at the cusp of making a major advance in the treatment of many different cancers and wish only that Al and Tim were around to see this. I can not begin to tell you how important your donations have been. They are and will continue to make a difference. It is through your support that we can realize Al and Tim’s vision to cure cancer.
Cancer patients in Stamford and surrounding communities have been able to access treatment trials locally due to the support of Hackers for Hope. The clinical trials program at Stamford Hospital’s Bennett Cancer Center offers patients the same targeted therapy studies as major academic medical centers without the additional long hours of travel. Quality of life and having family and friends able to be in attendance near home during a patient’s participation in a research study is an amazing gift. There are many testaments from patients about their belief that they are beating cancer due to the care and research therapies they have received at the Bennett Cancer Center. With the amazing support of the Hackers of Hope the clinical trials program has seen investigative products reach FDA approval and/or assured their effectiveness. Volunteer patients at Stamford Hospital helped bring these beneficial drugs to the general public: Femara, Neulasta, Herceptin, Prolia, Kadcyla, Tecentriq, Avastin, Xeloda, Yervoy, Doxil, Velcade, Revlamid, Zometa, Pomalidomide, Darzalex, Imbruvica, Erbitux, Xgeva, Procrit, Tarceva, Iressa, Opdivo, Eloxitine, Xyotax, Vectibix, Perjeta, Nexavar, Zarnesta, Yondelis and Zytiga.
Thank you, Hackers for Hope, for all you are doing for your community and the fight against cancer!
Hackers for Hope has been a longtime supporter of the Weill Cornell Medicine Genitourinary Oncology Program , contributing to innovative bladder, prostate and kidney cancer research.
Five immune therapies are now approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of people with advanced bladder (urothelial) cancer. The research team is focused on finding ways to improve the effectiveness of immunotherapy through combinations with other targeted therapeutics. These combination treatments may have the capacity to eventually replace the use of chemotherapy in some patients. Research is also focused on developing new treatments that target newly-identified genes that contribute to bladder cancer. Based on prior research identifying the genetic mechanisms by which bladder cancers become resistant to chemotherapy, we have launched an innovative new clinical trial utilizing a targeted drug that inhibits bladder cancer growth – the first time this type of drug is being tested in bladder cancer.
Building upon our longstanding history and internationally-recognized expertise in delivering prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) targeted therapies, our Program’s medical director Dr. Scott Tagawa continues to lead the evaluation of agents and delivery mechanisms designed to deliver more targeted radiation to metastatic prostate cancer with reduced toxicity to other organs. We are also spearheading the development of technology utilizing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) to draw information about a patient’s tumor via a simple blood test. In addition, our team has expertise in an aggressive subset of disease called neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC). In 2018, we led a phase II clinical trial through the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC) to find that NEPC is driven by a gene with an associated target known as aurora kinase. Further investigation into targeting of the gene may help us to refine therapy for this difficult-to-treat patient population.
The number of FDA-approved drugs for patients with advanced kidney cancer continues to grow. Dr. Ana Molina leads our team in offering clinical trials focused on novel targeted agents, combination treatments, and risk-directed therapies for various subtypes of kidney cancer. Laboratory studies of our in vivo kidney cancer models have improved our understanding of disease metabolism, and insights surrounding the role of the mitochondria (a cell’s power generator) is leading us to novel therapeutic approaches to block tumors from growing and spreading.
Researchers at Weill Cornell continue to work diligently to develop new and more effective therapies to treat advanced prostate, bladder and kidney cancers. We are moving closer to our ultimate goal of curing genitourinary cancers and look forward to continued progress in the years ahead. For ongoing research updates and to learn more about our patient education efforts and upcoming events, please visit with Weill Cornell Genitourinary (GU) Oncology Program blog at https://weillcornellgucancer.org/.
Cannonball Kids’ cancer (CKc) Foundation was established as a non-profit in January 2015 by Michael and Melissa Wiggins, the parents of Cannon Wiggins. When Cannon was 20 months old, he was diagnosed with Stage IV high-risk neuroblastoma. During Cannon’s treatment, Michael and Melissa learned little time, effort and funding is devoted to finding treatments for children’s cancer compared to adult cancers, and as a result, children are unnecessarily and unjustly lost. The mission of CKc is to fund innovative, accessible research for children fighting cancer to provide better treatments and quality of life, and to educate for change.
Continued support from Hackers for Hope has enabled CKc to award more than $1.9 million in four years, funding 19 grants, and creating 385 options for treatment. These options were offered to children who, but for CKc-funded clinical trials would have been sent to hospice. CKc-funded research grants impact the lives of children in 26 states, Washington D.C., Scotland, and Switzerland. CKc has also launched two education campaigns: No More Options about the lack of treatment options for childhood cancers and This Is Treatment about the side-effects of the most common therapies used to treat childhood cancer.
In addition, CKc educates legislators in Washington D.C. on the realities of childhood cancer and the lack of federal funding for innovative, less-toxic treatment options. This year, CKc drafted report language for the federal government’s 2020 budget. The report language specifically compels the National Cancer Institute to prioritize research of the nation’s deadliest childhood cancers (those with a five-year survival rate below 50%) in the same way it prioritizes the deadliest adult cancers. The report language was adopted along with the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 8, 2019