The Asco Post

A New Donor Shines with Conquer Cancer Foundation

By ASCO
March 1, 2013, Volume 4, Issue 4

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To support all of our valuable programs for patients and physicians, the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology partners with organizations of every size and scale, and every partnership has a lasting impact. Recently, the Foundation began working with a new supporter, Shine for Scott, Inc, to provide four Merit Awards to bright young researchers presenting their work at the 2013 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco.

Shine for Scott

Shine for Scott was founded in late 2010 following the death of the organization’s namesake, Scott Walden. Scott passed away from colon cancer on June 3, 2010, 18 months after his initial diagnosis. He was just 40 years old.

After his diagnosis, it quickly became evident to Scott, his family, and his friends that Scott had several barriers to overcome as a young person dealing with this disease. First, there was a lack of understanding and knowledge among Scott’s peers regarding the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of colorectal cancer. Second, there was very little financial assistance available for middle-aged and middle-income individuals faced with a debilitating disease. Third, there were fewer medical treatments for colorectal cancer than there were for other types of cancers. Scott and his family and friends dedicated themselves to making sure that Scott’s legacy would be to support and educate newly diagnosed patients, spread the word on screening and detection, and ultimately help in the search for a cure for colon cancer.

Supporting Key Researchers at the GI Symposium

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among both men and women in the United States. It is also the third most common cause of cancer death among men and women separately (and the second most common cause of cancer death in men and women combined) in the United States. This year, an estimated 143,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. These numbers include over 103,000 new cases of colon cancer and over 40,000 new cases of rectal cancer. It is estimated that over 51,000 individuals will die of colorectal cancers in the United States in 2013.

Over 2,000 researchers, physicians, advocates, members of the press, and industry leaders from the oncology community attend the GI Symposium each year. This year’s Symposium featured nearly 600 abstracts on the latest research in gastrointestinal cancers.

The Merit Awards are given to fellows and residents who submit high-quality abstracts selected for presentation at the GI Symposium. Merit Award winners receive a monetary award, as well as complimentary registration for the 2013 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium and access to Symposium housing reserved for ASCO. Through four Merit Awards supported by Shine for Scott, the Conquer Cancer Foundation is able to recognize young researchers presenting superior research studies focused on colorectal cancer:

Chiara Cremolini, MD, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Istituto Toscano Tumori
Circulating angiogenic factors as predictors of benefit from bevacizumab beyond progression in metastatic colorectal cancer: Translational analyses from the phase III BEBYP trial.

Aalok Kumar, BESc, MD, British Columbia Cancer Agency
Use of adjuvant chemotherapy and outcomes in stage II colon cancer with versus without poor prognostic features.

Van Morris, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Progression-free survival in metastatic, BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer.

Andrea Russo, MD, Harvard Radiation Oncology Program
Mutational analysis of locally advanced rectal cancer and response to neoadjuvant chemoradiation.

Working Together for Maximum Impact

Shine for Scott sought to support Conquer Cancer Foundation because of its unique connection with ASCO. “We were motivated by the opportunity to support the best young research oncologists in presenting at this meeting dedicated to multidisciplinary approaches to GI cancers,” said Ellen LeMosy, MD, PhD, a member of the Shine for Scott Board of Directors. 

Ultimately, the team at Shine for Scott would like to do even more in the fight against colon cancer, both globally and locally. Specifically, their mission is to decrease colon cancer mortality by raising money to fund basic scientists and clinicians for translational research into novel, combinatorial therapies targeting colon cancer; to fund an educational program to teach individuals in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) how to prevent colon cancer; and to fund a screening program that will provide individuals in the CSRA between the ages of 25 to 50 with lifesaving colon cancer screenings.

In the future, Shine For Scott, Inc, would like to expand its education, screening, and financial assistance programs, first to the Coastal Savannah River Area, then the state of Georgia, next the Southeast, and finally the entire United States. In addition, Shine For Scott, Inc, hopes to become the leading fundraiser for cutting-edge colon cancer research, ultimately assisting in the eradication of colon cancer mortality.

“We are extremely grateful for the support provided by Shine For Scott for the 2013 Merit Awards,” said Nancy R. Daly, MS, MPH, Executive Director of the Conquer Cancer Foundation. “The Merit Awards provide needed recognition and resources for some of our most promising researchers and physicians, and we are delighted to work with Shine for Scott as we both work toward freeing the world from the fear of cancer.”

To learn more about the Conquer Cancer Foundation or make a donation in support of cancer research, visit www.conquercancerfoundation.org. And to learn more about Shine For Scott, Inc. and their work, visit www.shineforscott.org. ■

© 2013. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.

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