PROMISE fall 2018 Newsletter of the Lustgarten Foundation
The Lustgarten Foundation
Opens Two New Dedicated Labs Building upon the success of our first dedicated research laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), we are proud to announce the new Lustgarten Laboratory at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and the Lustgarten Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The opening of these two Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Research Laboratories will usher in a new era of research progress and represents an initial $10 million investment. These laboratories position the Foundation to be the only non-profit in the country to have three laboratories devoted to pancreatic cancer research, which means more resources, time and talent are being put toward this disease. A fourth laboratory focused on early detection and therapeutics is set to open later this year at Johns Hopkins and will be led by Bert Vogelstein, M.D.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
United in the shared goal of improving patient outcomes, the laboratories will increase collaboration between worldrenowned pancreatic cancer researchers and explore new, promising avenues for understanding and treating this disease from the bench to the bedside.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
â€ƒâ€ƒ Under the leadership of Brian Wolpin, M.D., MPH, Director of the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, the Lustgarten Laboratory at Dana-Farber will be a critical hub for advancing pancreatic cancer translational research, initiating scientifically-driven
clinical trials, and identifying new approaches to early pancreatic cancer detection. This research will also capitalize on the large, multidisciplinary network of investigators working on pancreatic cancer at Dana-Farber, under the umbrella of the Hale Center. (continued on page 4)
from Kerri Kaplan, president and Ceo
As the holiday season begins, we want to take this opportunity to thank you – all of our loyal supporters, researchers, volunteers, sponsors, and most of all, the patients, loved ones and survivors who inspire us with their courage and who share our steadfast belief that research remains the best strategy in fighting pancreatic cancer. We couldn’t accomplish all that we do without you, especially now at our busiest time of the year. We are holding walks and multiple community events across the country, celebrating Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and World Pancreatic Cancer Day in November, hosting our annual scientific conference with renowned Lustgarten-funded researchers, and leading our year-end fundraising campaign. In addition to all of these exciting events, this year we are celebrating our 20th anniversary. As we reflect on the past 20 years of milestones and build on the momentum we’ve created in advancing the understanding and treatment of pancreatic cancer, we are pleased that we are more than a voice in the national dialogue on pancreatic cancer research; we started the conversation. As the nation’s largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research, we have the profound responsibility of shining a spotlight on pancreatic cancer and doing everything possible to improve the treatment of this disease. To that end, we have directed more than $175 million to research to date, and we are the only pancreatic cancer research organization that directs 100% of every donation to research. In honor of our 20th anniversary, we changed our brand to meld our rich history with our vision for the future, where pancreatic cancer patients become
long-term survivors. Our new branding reflects our unyielding commitment to funding the very best science. It’s confident, driven and innovative. You will see it featured prominently throughout the pages of this newsletter. To further commemorate this anniversary, we have launched our revamped website, www.lustgarten.org, which showcases our new brand. The new design is responsive, easy to navigate, and most importantly, has the information you want to read about. We’ve made it easier to locate helpful information for newly diagnosed patients, including a handy patient checklist that patients can download, added information about where to find clinical trials, and a whole section devoted to explaining the innovative research projects that will drive us toward a cure. If you haven’t already done so, we hope you’ll spend some time exploring the new site! As we celebrate both the holiday season and our collective journey over the past 20 years, we are rededicating ourselves to what matters most: improving patient outcomes. Thank you for sharing this journey with us and for your continued support as we start our next chapter. By joining the fight, you are helping to find a cure! Warm regards,
Kerri Kaplan President & CEO
ESTABLISHING THE PANCREATIC CANCER COLLECTIVE The Lustgarten Foundation—Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) collaboration has played a critical role in promoting therapeutic discoveries that can lead to new treatments. This collaboration, which began in 2012, has flourished with now more than $85 million of combined funding. More than 200 investigators across 31 leading research centers in both the United States and the United Kingdom are conducting multicenter, multidisciplinary projects with explicit objectives to drive innovation to the clinic to tackle pancreatic cancer. Together, these collaborative teams have planned, started or completed 23 clinical trials. Additionally, more trials are continuing to open. Earlier this year, we joined forces to create the Pancreatic Cancer Collective to accelerate the research process and improve patient outcomes. Through the Collective, our two organizations are positioned to attract new collaborators; improve the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer; and support the next generation of pancreatic cancer investigators. The initial funding commitment for the first round of grants is $25 million. Significant funding for additional grants will be ongoing.
David Tuveson, M.D., Ph.D., the Foundation’s Chief Scientist, and Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., chair of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee, Institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the Department of Biology and the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, are the Collective’s scientific leaders. Through the Collective we are encouraging collaboration among people who haven’t worked together; spreading funding to new centers; leveraging artificial intelligence approaches; and improving and developing new diagnostics and treatments for pancreatic cancer. “The Collective will utilize the breadth and expertise of existing SU2CLustgarten Foundation Research Teams and researchers to support new investigators coming into the field and expand the capacity for additional research,” Dr. Tuveson said. As part of the Collective, we launched our New Therapies Initiative earlier this year with the expectation to fund four projects at $1 million each with the goal that after 14 months, one or more would receive an additional $4 mil-
lion to open a clinical trial. The proposed projects were so promising that we have awarded seven grants, which is a testament to how far the field of pancreatic cancer research has come. Additionally, if more than one project shows promising results after the initial funding period, then the Foundation will consider supporting even more trials. We are honored that a pancreatic cancer patient and our work with SU2C were featured in SU2C’s sixth biennial live fundraising telecast, which aired in September on more than 70 broadcast and cable networks and streaming and social platforms and resulted in more than $123.6 million in pledged donations.
For a full listing of all the projects the Collective is spearheading, visit pancreaticcancercollective.org.
Dr. Tuveson and Kerri Kaplan are joined by Patient Ambassador Lidia Gonzalez (center) and Lustgarten Foundation supporters Julie Peretz and Jeff Day.
progress & promise
THE LUSTGARTEN FOUNDATION OPENS TWO NEW DEDICATED LABS (continued)
“The work being done with the Foundation’s support is the main driver of progress in the field. It’s quite amazing that a single foundation can play such a transformative role,” said Dr. Wolpin. “Our patients are and will be the beneficiaries of such vision and leadership. “ The research conducted in the Lustgarten Foundation Laboratory at DanaFarber will focus on three main objectives: • S tudying the genetic composition and functionally characterizing the driver pathways of pancreatic tumors, which will lead to personalized treatment options for patients; •E xpanding clinical trials for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, in which treatments are selected using organoids, or miniature 3-D tissue samples taken from a patient’s tumor. Organoids allow multiple drugs to be tested in real time to identify the best course of treatment for the patient; and • I dentifying new blood-based and imaging markers of asymptomatic pancreatic cancer and new models for pancreatic cancer risk prediction to facilitate earlier cancer detection.
The Lustgarten Laboratory at MIT will leverage its unparalleled expertise in cancer biology and engineering to advance pancreatic cancer research. Led by Tyler Jacks, Ph.D., Director of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, the laboratory will study the genetic events contributing to the development of cancer and will examine the immune responses to the disease using molecular profiling to characterize patients’ pancreatic tumors. “We have a formidable team and it is only going to get stronger,” said Dr. Jacks. “We are grateful for the Lustgarten Foundation’s investment in our work as it allows us to recruit new investigators from across MIT who have never worked in pancreatic cancer before but whose tools and approaches will help us develop new treatment paradigms for early diagnosis and intervention.” The research conducted in the Lustgarten Laboratory at MIT will focus on the following key objectives: •E valuating the role that the immune system plays in the development of pancreatic tumors and the progression of the disease to lead to better therapeutic options;
•E xploring pancreatic cancer progression using single cell profiling technologies, which will provide new insights into the mechanisms of disease development as well as identify new targets for intervention; •R educing the time required to produce an organoid; and •U sing organoids and mouse models with specific mutations to examine genes that may be responsible for tumor development and exploring DNA manipulation through screenings to examine disease progression. Together, our dedicated laboratories provide a critical hub for advancing pancreatic cancer research and treatment breakthroughs. We look forward to all of the potentially life-changing research that will come from these dedicated laboratories, where the best scientific minds are working together to create a larger community of survivors.
We are honored to work with Dr. Brian Wolpin at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Dr. Tyler Jacks at MIT, who are both world-renowned leaders in pancreatic cancer research. We are confident that with them at the helm of these two new laboratories, we will make significant progress in improving patient outcomes. Dr. David Tuveson 4
Chief Scientist and Director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
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If you are athletic, please consider starting a sporting event of your choice. The research your contributions fund can impact the lives of everyone touched by pancreatic cancer.
Community Event Organizers! Our community events program continues to expand. Large or small, each event has its own personality and appeal and makes an important contribution. Thank you to our volunteer event organizers, who consistently dedicate their time, resources, and expertise to changing patientsâ€™ lives. For more information on organizing an event in your area, please contact Susanne Igneri, Special Events Coordinator, at 516.737.1560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Village Cup Regatta We are so grateful that the Village Cup Regatta reached a significant milestone this year, raising $250,000 for research to date! This annual event, hosted by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club on Long Island, features two teams that race boats to raise money for both the Lustgarten Foundation and Mather Memorial Hospitalâ€™s Palliative Care Program.
Swim to Cure Pancreatic Cancer Bill and Dominique Kahn hosted this masters swim meet at their home in East Hampton, Long Island after the mother of the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter masters swim coach died of pancreatic cancer. Now, this event is held annually to also honor everyone in their community affected by pancreatic cancer and has raised more than $12,500 to date for research. Marcia Lustgarten, whose husband Marc passed away from pancreatic cancer and who is the Foundationâ€™s namesake, attended the event as well.
We are incredibly grateful to all of our supporters who have
donated to the Foundation through Facebook and who have encouraged their friends and family to donate as well in honor of major life milestones, including birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. In 2018 alone, these contributions have amounted to nearly $290,000, helping us to grow our research
Haymakers for Hope Haymakers for Hope, which organizes sanctioned charity boxing events to raise funds for cancer research, care, awareness and survivorship, held its latest event on November 15th in New York City. We thank Shaun Rose for choosing to participate in Haymakers for Hope and for raising more than $42,000 for the Lustgarten Foundation in honor of his good friend Rolan who is battling pancreatic cancer. As Shaun says, he fights for Rolan while Rolan fights for his life.
program. Like us on Facebook today!
progress & promise
Join Our Journey! Get inspired and connect with patients, survivors, family members and friends who are all on the same journey.
Our walks are a unique opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate, reflect and remember as we move closer to a cure for pancreatic cancer. With more than 40 walks in nearly 20 states, these events have raised more than $40 million to date, with every dollar going directly to game-changing research. For more information and to register for an upcoming walk, visit lustgarten.org. Don’t see a walk near you? Learn how you can start a walk in your community by contacting Lisa Crowley, Event Coordinator, at 516.737.1561 or email@example.com.
Albany Walk Leaders—Neil and Shari Piper
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR ALBANY AND MONMOUTH COUNTY WALK LEADERS! Congratulations to our Albany, NY walk leaders, Neil and Shari Piper, and our Monmouth County, NJ walk leader, Nicole Tuscano, for reaching the $1 million fundraising milestone this year! Neil, Shari and Nicole serve as inspirational examples of how much we can accomplish when we work together to advance our goal of one day finding a cure. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to changing the lives of everyone impacted by this disease. We won’t quit until a cure is found, and we know you won’t either!
Monmouth County Walk Leader—Nicole Tuscano
TOGETHER, OUR SIX INAUGURAL WALKS HELD IN 2018 HAVE RAISED NEARLY $215,000 FOR URGENTLY-NEEDED RESEARCH! In 2018, we expanded our walk program to encompass inaugural events in Boca Raton, FL; Atlanta, GA; Easton, PA; Seattle, WA; Farmington, ME; and New Brunswick, NJ. We are incredibly grateful for our dedicated walk leaders, planning committees, sponsors, and other volunteers whose commitment and enthusiasm make our walks so successful and who make such a valuable contribution to our research. They are at the heart of all that we do, and our walk program continues to grow because of their hard work, shared belief in our mission, and determination to fight this disease.
Seattle, WA Melissa Roeters led the Seattle walk to honor her father, who passed away from pancreatic cancer. She held it in June not only to commemorate the month he passed away, but because Melissa and her dad used to share a special week together in June celebrating each of their birthdays and Father’s Day.
Boca Raton, FL Walk co-leaders Eric Borden and Neal Aronin joined together to bring the first pancreatic cancer research walk to their community. Neal lost his sister to the disease, and Eric, a pancreatic cancer survivor, organized the walk with Neal to turn his diagnosis into determination and also to honor a friend who passed from the disease.
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ Students in the Alpha Zeta Omega pharmaceutical fraternity selected the Lustgarten Foundation for their philanthropic efforts in honor of fraternity members impacted by the disease. Cindy Vero, a well-known onair radio personality in the Tristate area, served as the official emcee for the event.
Atlanta, GA Stefanie Wayco turned her grief into action by organizing the inaugural Atlanta walk as her Mother’s Day gift to her mother, who passed away in 2017. Stefanie also lost her grandmother to pancreatic cancer.
Easton, MA Al Gillis organized the Easton walk in memory of his wife Brenda, who passed away at 53 from pancreatic cancer, only 4 ½ months after her diagnosis.
Farmington, ME Walk organizer Jean Sinclair led this event in memory of her mother-in-law and her best friend. Jean took over the Foundation’s Maine walk and moved it to Farmington this year.
progress & promise
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Thanks to separate funding to support administrative expenses, 100% of every dollar raised goes directly to pancreatic cancer research.
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2018â€“2019 Calendar of Events Be sure to check the calendar of events at www.lustgarten.org/calendar-of-events/ for updates. NOVEMBER 2018
29â€“Dec. 2 A mericana Manhasset Champions for Charity Manhasset, NY
23 L ustgarten Walk: Westlake Village Westlake Village, CA
5 Lustgarten Walk: Mechanicsburg Mechanicsburg, PA
Remember: November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month!
DECEMBER 2018 13 Holiday Rock & Roll Bash New York, NY 15 Lustgarten Walk: San Francisco San Francisco, CA
24 L ustgarten Walk: Southwest Florida Fort Myers, FL
11 Lustgarten Walk: Easton Easton, MA
2 L ustgarten Walk: Tampa Tampa, FL
11 L ustgarten Walk: Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, CO
3 L ustgarten Walk: Boca Raton Boca Raton, FL
17 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon New York, NY 30 L ustgarten Walk: Atlanta Atlanta, GA
APRIL 2019 28 L ustgarten Walk: Westchester Westchester County, NY
1 Lustgarten Walk: Monmouth County Monmouth County, NJ
JULY 2019 14 Lustgarten Walk: Naperville Naperville, IL
Progress & Promise is supported by an educational grant from Celgene, which had no control over its content.