As a result of a successful 7th year of fundraising, in December 2019 The Woiner Foundation was able to award a total of $110,000 to directly support the fight against melanoma and pancreatic cancer. The foundation has awarded a total of $520,000 since it began its work in 2013.
The foundation awarded $55,000 to the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center’s Melanoma and Skin Cancer program, led since 1986 by Dr. John M. Kirkwood. The program has made significant advances in treatment of advanced melanoma, and operable high-risk melanoma over the past 7 years, accelerated by The Woiner Foundation's growing support of new research. The program offers more than 20 new and promising treatment options for patients in the region. These include early detection and therapeutic prevention, adjuvant treatment to improve cure with surgery, and advanced disease programs that have improved overall survival of melanoma, even when surgery is not possible, from months to years. Dr. Kirkwood’s team has pioneered new treatment designs (neoadjuvant therapy) that now place immunotherapy before surgery for patients with regionally advanced disease, showing major pathologic responses in 70% of patients at 8 weeks of treatment. This may set a new standard for treatment and is being brought into national trials in ECOG-ACRIN this year.
The foundation also awarded $55,000 to the Alliance of Families Fighting Pancreatic Cancer to support the work of Dr. A. James Moser at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Moser and his Pancreatic Cancer Research Program team are at the forefront of combating this tremendously complex disease head-on. Dr. Moser’s research team works not only to increase scientific understanding at a molecular level, but to increase patient care quality in the clinic as well. In 2019 alone, Dr. Moser’s team published eight original research articles thanks to your support, with topics including novel surgical techniques to reduce pain and patient recovery time, along with improving early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The Woiner Foundation is also providing funding for three important long-term projects: developing a personalized dendritic cell vaccine for pancreatic cancer, improving cure rates following chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, and discovering novel MRI techniques to monitor treatment response so that different treatments maybe be tried before it becomes too late.
The Woiner Foundation raised the money through its 7th annual 3-2-1 Ride event, which was attended by more than 500 area cyclists and volunteers on Oct. 13, 2019 on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.
Funds raised for The Woiner Foundation at the 3-2-1 Ride are used to directly support melanoma and pancreatic cancer research at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical in Boston.
We are proud to support the world-renowned teams and ground-breaking research happening at these institutions and are excited to share progress updates just released to us in October.
The Woiner Foundationis Pittsburgh-based and volunteer-run. Our mission is to fight melanoma and pancreatic cancer by increasing awareness, supporting patients, survivors and families and fundraising for research.