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Christina Applegate Helps Raise $1.44 Million for Cancer Frontier Fund at illumination09

June 15, 2009

To accelerate innovation in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure, the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation is announcing the “Cancer Frontier Fund,” a 10-year, $50 million fundraising effort led by community leaders to help researchers at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in their efforts to transform the way cancer is fought.

Coming off a successful campaign for Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation is heading into the Cancer Frontier Fund led by a blue-ribbon group of civic leaders and philanthropists. “We want to accelerate the pace of discovery,” says Bill Koman, a Foundation Board member and cancer survivor. Koman and his wife, Amy, endowed the hospital’s Koman Chair in Medical Oncology, founded its Koman Center for Bioinformatics, and are leading the effort to launch the Cancer Frontier Fund.

“St. Louis has always been a center for discovery and a community with a spirit of adventure,” says Koman.  ”Our goal is to promote and give the Siteman Cancer Center the resources it needs to explore the next cancer frontier.”

The Cancer Frontier Fund will support clinical-translational research and technology at the Siteman Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center within 240 miles of St. Louis.

“As national leaders in cancer research, Washington University researchers have put St. Louis on the map as an international hub of cancer research and treatment,” says Andy Ziskind, MD, Barnes-Jewish Hospital president.  “The Cancer Frontier Fund will accelerate further breakthroughs and translate them into clinical use.”

The Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation has a history of supporting such breakthroughs, providing Washington University physicians with an average of $10 million in research funding annually.  Funding from the  Foundation has led to improved cancer prevention efforts, an intraoperative MRI for brain tumor surgery, and key appointments of Jeff Bradley, MD, director of the Kling Center for Proton Therapy, to the Kling Chair in Radiation Oncology and Matthew Ellis, MD, to the Anheuser-Busch Chair in Medical Oncology.

Community involvement is part of the program as major donors become members of the Cancer Frontier Fund Council, joining key members of Barnes-Jewish and Washington University leadership.

“That’s what makes the Cancer Frontier Fund unique,” says Koman.  “It gives us the opportunity to ask questions, seek information and interact with investigators.”

“Our Center has worked to uncover the genetic and molecular basis for cancer,” says Timothy Eberlein, MD, Siteman Cancer Center director.  “We are developing more accurate diagnoses, more targeted therapies and even working on new treatments that may prevent the disease entirely.  Clearly, we have entered the realm of personalized medicine and Siteman is leading the way."

“As a new source of clinical-translational research support, the Cancer Frontier Fund will increase the number of promising projects that can be pursued by the Siteman Cancer Center,” says Dr. Ziskind.  “Not only will these grant dollars stay in St. Louis and power economic growth, but St. Loosens will also benefit from easier access to clinical trials and advanced care at the Siteman Cancer Center.”

The Cancer Frontier Fund was announced at Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation’s annual gala, “illumination09,” Saturday, May 16 at the Ritz-Carlton.  With the help of breast cancer survivor and emcee Christina Applegate, $1.44 million dollars was raised for the Cancer Frontier Fund to support one of its main initiatives, clinical-translational research to advance personalized cancer therapy at the Siteman Cancer Center.

For more information about the Cancer Frontier Fund, call (314) 286-0580. 

From the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation's Giving Magazine 2009, Issue 1

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