Sunday, May 15, 2016
Support Immunotherapy Research
The Bucks County Chapter of the Board of Associates, Fox Chase Cancer Center, is pleased to
announce that at our May in Versailles event, we will be holding a special pledge auction in support
of Immunotherapy Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
The immune system is a collection of white blood cells that protect us from all manner of invading
pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. In addition, the incredible power of the immune system
to recognize anything out of place in our bodies is emerging as an exciting new approach for cancer
treatment. Immune cells have been shown to be effective adversaries for such difficult to treat
cancers as melanoma and lung cancer. Along with their incredible efficacy, immune therapies
have the added benefit of having far fewer side effects. Indeed, unlike chemotherapy, which is
toxic to cancer, but also damages normal tissues, the destructive power of immune therapies is far
more focused on the cancer cells themselves. Nevertheless, while there is much promise
surrounding the use of immune therapies, there is much work left to do. Immune therapies induce
long-lasting cancer remissions, but unfortunately, this is true for only a minority of patients.
Accordingly, resources are required to research ways to identify those patients that will benefit
from current immunotherapies, as well as to devise new and more powerful ways to modulate the
immune system so that patients that are currently not benefitting can also receive the life-saving
benefits of this most promising therapeutic approach. Fox Chase researchers are hard at work,
having identified subsets of immune cells that appear to predict how a patient will react to immune
therapy. Moreover, having potentially identified a way to spot patients that are unlikely to respond,
Fox Chase researchers are now determining how to optimize immune therapies so they will benefit
patients that were previously unresponsive.
For your information, the Special Pledge at last year’s fundraising event, May in Maui, was
devoted to lung cancer research, which is responsible for 1 of every 5 cancer deaths. The funds
raised last year advanced research on two fronts. First, Dr. Clapper was able to determine that the
unique hormonal environment in women’s lungs increase their cancer risk and make them
particularly vulnerable to the destructive effects of cigarette smoke, even mild exposure to secondhand
smoke. Second, Drs. Boumber and Borgaei were able to identify a novel treatment strategy
involving a Trojan horse of sorts. They target a lethal compound to lung cancer cells by attaching
it to a chemical that binds a critical component that is over-represented in lung cancer cells. The
unsuspecting lung cancer cells engulf this chemical complex, presuming it to be harmless, but once
inside it delivers its deadly payload, decimating the tumor.
The Bucks County Chapter (BCC) of Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Board of Associates was formed in the early 1980s. The chapter has designated that all funds raised go directly to cancer research at Fox Chase Cancer Center. The BCC made its first donation of $500 to the Center in 1983. From that humble beginning, and with 30 years of varied fundraising events, to date we have raised over $4.2 million for the Center.
The Operations Board of the BCC has always attracted hardworking and dedicated individuals and has relied on the support of chapter members and the community at large for success in its fundraising efforts.
The Bucks County Chapter’s two annual hallmark events are the Spring Party and the Art Show. The Spring Party is one of Bucks County’s premier events and is held each spring at a different but always spectacular location. The Art Show is a festive late fall holiday event featuring the works of many noted and award winning area artists.
The Operations Board of the Bucks County Chapter is a working board and welcomes individuals who would be interested in volunteering time and talent to raising funds for cancer research at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States.
Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet status for excellence three consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.
For more information please visit the website of Fox Chase Cancer Center at www.foxchase.org or call 888-FOX CHASE (888-369-2427).