On Monday, The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation hosted the 2019 SWCRF Breakthroughs Scientific Symposium at the Leon and Norma Hess Center for Science and Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Groundbreaking summaries of its research advances from the past year were revealed at event that brought together more than 100 SWCRF grantees, scientific leaders and stakeholders to mark the conclusion of the annual two-day SWCRF Scientific Review, an evaluation of SWCRF funded research programs.
Notable cancer investigators funded by the SWCRF along with members of the SWCRF Scientific Board spoke on the research discoveries that were reported on during the SWCRF Scientific review. These included advances developing novel therapeutics based on new understandings of epigenetic and genetic mechanisms associated with cancer development and progression, how cancer cells become dormant or reawaken to spread through metastasis, successes in treating childhood leukemia and the role bacteria may play in pancreatic cancer.
Samuel Waxman, M.D., Founder and CEO of the SWCRF also shared updates to the foundation’s partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute on Aging (NIA), which launched in 2018 to spearhead research focused on understanding the links between aging and cancer. He also announced that the SWCRF recently issued Request for Proposals for eight research grants up to $200,000 each. The SWCRF expects to award the grants in July with some of the research focused on aging and cancer.
“We know that the incidences of cancer increase with age but what we need to understand is what underlying mechanisms associated with aging happen at the cellular level to cause the development of cancer. The partnership among the SWCRF, NCI and NIA is furthering research in aging and cancer that historically has fallen behind,” said Dr. Waxman.
Other presenters included Dena K. Weiner, Vice President of the SWCRF Board of Directors, SWCRF Chief Science Officer Jonathan Licht, M.D., Director of the University of Florida Health Cancer Center, members of the SWCRF Scientific Advisory Board, Lorraine Gudas, Ph.D., Chairman of Pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical Center and Martin S. Tallman, M.D., Chief, Leukemia Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and SWCRF-funded investigators, Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, Ph.D., Professor, Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Ethan Dmitrovsky, M.D., Director at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research; and Shai Izraeli, M.D., Director of the Department of Hematology-Oncology at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, and William T. Sullivan, Executive Director of the SWCRF.