We are extremely proud to announce that CARE 2022 donors and participants raised a record-breaking total of funds this year equaling $1.2 million dollars to help benefit our cancer research partners at HonorHealth Research Institute and Mayo Clinic AZ. Fabulous and impressive results to help us celebrate our 25th year.
The generous community support of Desert Mountain CARE (Cancer Awareness through Research & Education), will result in the largest investment into cancer research projects, enabling us once again to embody our CARE Mission: “Funding innovative world-class cancer research.
The Desert Mountain community and our corporate sponsors had fun and gave generously throughout our fundraising year. We held our annual two-day event on April 3 & 4, 2022.
April 3rd was our 25th Anniversary Denim & Diamonds themed gala that was held in a beautifully decorated clubhouse parking lot. Live auction, silent auction, raffle packages, and live music by the Hamptons. We honored and recognized all the volunteers past and present but a special call out to our CARE co-founder, Sylvia Owens. Sylvia and two others were instrumental in the beginning of CARE and is an active member on the CARE Board, 25 years strong.
On April 4th, we held our 25th Annual Golf Tournament with contests and prizes. It was a beautiful day for golf, and everyone had FUN.
We can all be proud of the fact that CARE has become a very important part of our Desert Mountain community. Our continued growth and success is dependent upon your generous support and can’t thank you enough for your participation.
Your generous support of CARE (Cancer Awareness through Research & Education), resulted in a total combined investment of $923,500, enabling us once again to embody our CARE Vision: Inspire the community to fund breakthrough cancer research and treatment initiatives to enhance quality of life.
How We Fund:
Your unrestricted donations are currently divided between HonorHealth Research Institute and Mayo Clinic in AZ, unless you have specified that the funds should go directly to one or the other. The CARE Board determines the final funding amounts based upon the recommendations of the CARE Funding Committee, which evaluates proposals from each institution for appropriateness with the CARE Mission and Vision. More specifically, we support rare cancers research that experience difficulty attracting initial funding and we support innovative research into cancers that broadly effect the Desert Mountain community and Arizona.
What We Fund: 2022 Update
HonorHealth Research Institute & Innovation (HHRIII) - Funding two HHRII projects: 1) Uveal Melanoma Study, and 2) Tenosynovial Giant Cell Tumor Study
1) Uveal Melanoma (UM):
UM is a rare subtype that arises typically in the choroidal body of the eye. Unlike cutaneous (skin) melanoma, UM has been resistant to current immunotherapy and at the present time, there is no FDA approved treatment for this disease making it both a rare and refractory disease. HHRII’s goal is to identify novel biomarkers for disease monitoring and diagnosis with the expectation that such biomarkers can be used to identify patients at highest risk for recurrence and utilize these biomarkers as a surrogate endpoint in the adjuvant setting.
2) Tenosynovial Giant Cell Tumor (TGCT):
TGCT is a rare sarcomatous proliferation of the synovium lining the joints. This disorder typically occurs in young men and women and most often impact the large joints, particularly the knees.
By the time patients present for diagnosis, the TGCT proliferation if most often not completely resectable and surgery has limited value. MRI scans have classical features for this diagnosis but suffer from inaccuracy and the fact that a tissue diagnosis is needed to move forward with systemic therapy. Treatment for TGCT includes the orally administered targeted drug pexidartinib which can be associated with the development of liver failure making its use somewhat complex.
The lack of a “simple” diagnostic test, as opposed to having to proceed with surgery and biopsy, places patients at greater risk for complications. HHRII identified this as a potentially “game-changing” opportunity since most of these patients present not only with the synovial proliferation but also with a detectable joint effusion (fluid) that can be aspirated. HHRII is proposing to subject new diagnosed and untreated patients to a joint effusion aspiration as well as the necessary surgical biopsy (if not already performed) to develop an effusion-driven biomarker analysis allowing an alternate mechanism for securing the diagnosis of TGCT
Mayo Clinic in AZ - Funding two Mayo Clinic projects: 1) Predicting Metastatic Potential Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and 2) Targeting Metastatic Prostate Cancer With Novel Fn14
1) Predicting Metatasic Potential Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Using Gene Expression Profiling:
Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) affects more than one million individuals annually in the United States. Its incidence is rising due to ultraviolet exposure and an increase in the population of elderly and immunosuppressed individuals. Most cSCC is curable by surgery, but metastasis occurs in up to 5% of patients. Metastatic cSCC carries a poor five-year survival (25-35%) and accounts for nearly 8,800 deaths annually, comparable to the mortality rate of malignant melanoma.
There is a great need for more accurate identification of tumors with metastatic potential to truly characterize cSCC patients that are at high risk. Mayo Clinic’s research team has developed a method based on gene expression profiling (GEP) that can stratify intermediate to high-risk cSCC for overall survival by 20-fold and can properly stratify 95% of intermediate to high-risk tumors as non-metastatic and 70% of intermediate to high-risk tumors as metastatic. Validation of this panel would permit design of not only a new test, but an entire new way of assessing the risk in one of the most common human cancers, SCC.
2) Targeting Metastatic Prostate Cancer With Novel Fn14 Inhibitory Compound:
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer related death in American men. Like normal prostate tissue, which requires androgen hormones produced by the body to function, so do prostate cancer cells. Thus, treatment for PCa frequently involves either reducing the supply of androgens by blocking androgen synthesis in the body or disrupting the stimulation of cancer cells through blockade of androgen receptor signals in cancer cells. This approach is known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).
Although initial response rates are promising, all men eventually progress on ADT and develop a resistant version of prostate cancer, which undergoes metastatic spread. At this metastatic stage, specifically when metastasized to the bone, PCa is incurable, and an increasing number of men are developing a highly lethal variant of PCa known as aggressive variant prostate cancer (AVPC). Androgen receptor signaling is lost in AVPC rendering the existing hormone targeting treatments ineffective. To date, very few therapies exist for AVPC and only offer minimal survival benefits in this setting. Thus, the identification and assessment of drug targeting VAPC are needed to effectively treat and control metastasis
None of this would be possible without CARE’s willingness to fund innovative, ground-breaking programs in cancer research.
To donate to CARE please visit our donate now page or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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