We are deeply committed to our distinguished beneficiaries and the work that they do to FIGHT CANCER. Since our inception in 2001, the Nassau/Suffolk Chapter of Swim Across America has donated over $5.5 Million to cancer research, prevention and treatment efforts. In addition, our supporters should know that they are making a DIRECT impact in the work that these beneficiaries are doing. Since 2001, over 82% of every dollar raised by the Nassau/Suffolk participants has gone directly to these beneficiaries. We are an all-volunteer chapter of SAA, and we work diligently to keep our event expenses to an absolute minimum. We are also grateful to our Corporate Sponsors whose generosity helps defer some of these expenses. For more information on joining the SAA Nassau - Suffolk Team of Corporate Sponsors this year, download the SAA NS Corporate Sponsor Opportunities here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are proud to present our beneficiaries for 2015:
Video of the MSKCC lab
SAA Lab at MSKCC. The goal of the Swim Across America laboratory at MSKCC is to develop new approaches to cancer treatment through stimulating the immune system to attack cancer cells. Results from our laboratory are the basis of ongoing clinical trials at MSKCC in patients with melanoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, kidney cancer, and lymphoma. The lab has been one of the most successful in the world at moving lab discoveries into the clinic. The SAA lab was instrumental in the development of Ipillmumab, the first Melanoma US FDA approved drug in 13 years.
Fighting Chance is a non profit counseling and resource center serving the East End of Long Island since 2001. FC provides a comprehensive range of services, free of charge, to the five towns of the East End. Professional counseling is available in one on- one sessions, in support groups and via email. Patient navigation of the health care system is provided by a dedicated staff member and a unique, 75 page guide to local cancer care resources, coping with Cancer on the East End is updated annually.
We will continue to fund the fifth year of raw research investigating the molecular growth path of Osteosarcoma, an adolescent bone cancer. In 2007 scientists confirmed the identification of certain “molecular signaling growth pathways” that has initiated multiple clinical trials to further confirm this progress. Hope now exists that a new targeted drug therapy with considerable promise developed with our support will improve the outcomes of patients afflicted with this disease.
We have been funding the important non small cell lung cancer research of Rafaella Sordella, PhD since 2008. Her lab has been able to identify a subpopulation of cells that are intrinsically resistant to both conventional and targeted therapies, included Tarceva, and are more metastatic. At the molecular level they have determined that increased activation of the TGF-beta-IL-6 axis is driving all these phenotypes. Important drugs targeting teh IL-6 signaling pathway are currently available. They are now focused on seeking to understand the efficacy of these drugs in a pre-clinical model, that will hopefully lead to the development of new lung cancer clinical trials.
Our primary beneficiary, the “MIRACLE Pavilion” at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, opened its doors in Dec. 2005. This state of the art Medical and Radiation Oncology Outpatient Facility is one of the most comprehensive on Long Island, and the home of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Nassau County, providing Nassau County residents local access to the best cancer care anywhere.
In 2011 we began assisting in the funding of a pediatric brain cancer project directed by Marc Symons, PhD. Current therapies for the most common malignant childhood brain tumor, medulloblastoma in particular radiation therapy have long term side effects, including marked nerocognitive difficulties. Marc's lab has initiated a program to identify medulloblastoma radio-resistance genes and characterize their functions. Hopefully the identified radio-resistance genes will provide us with new drug targets for the development of more effective therapies for medulloblastoma.