South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday May 18, 2021
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May 2021 - Volume 17 - Issue 11
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COMMUNITY FOUNDATION GRANT LEADS TO BETTER OUTCOMES FOR CANCER PATIENTS

April 29 2921 - A $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Broward is helping advance research at Memorial Cancer Institute that provides oncologists a clearer and timelier picture of the impact of targeted therapy drugs on lung cancer. That’s good news for patients whose medical teams can utilize that information to refine treatments and incorporate drugs known to be effective against specific types of tumors, an approach known as “precision medicine.”
 
The current standard of care uses liquid biopsies to determine the makeup of tumor DNA in the bloodstream and combines it with next generation gene sequencing (NGS), which surveys the genome in search of genetic anomalies. The resulting data is especially helpful when diagnosing and evaluating new cancer patients and enables doctors to customize therapies for all patients. The Community Foundation grant, administered through the nonprofit Memorial Foundation, enables Memorial Cancer Institute to go even further with its research, using the biopsies to predict treatment outcomes in lung, breast, and colon cancer patients. 
 
“We’ve been able to follow the changes of the tumoral DNA in these patients and, in most cases, predict the response to targeted therapy,” said Dr. Luis E. Raez, chief scientific officer and medical director at Memorial Cancer Institute, which was recently recognized by the state’s Department of Health as a “Florida Cancer Center of Excellence.” “That enables us to be able to predict treatment response or failure ahead of CT scans or PET scans, meaning patients will be able to monitor their response to cancer therapy without being irradiated.” 
 
Earlier this year, Dr. Raez and his colleagues at Memorial and Florida International University made a virtual presentation of their findings at the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Singapore. 
Support has been provided by the following Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward: 
Harold D. Franks Cancer Fund 
Mary N. Porter Cancer Research Fund
 
The six-figure research grant is part of the nonprofit’s ‘Cancel Cancer’ initiative that seeks to “advance local, breakthrough cancer research that makes lifesaving clinical trials accessible to all Broward residents.” 

 ABOUT:

 The Memorial Foundation raises funds philanthropically to assist patients, families, and to underwrite the cost of programs, facilities, and equipment within the Memorial Healthcare System (www.mhs.net). To learn more, call 954.265.3454 or visit www.mhsfoundation.org.
 
Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation of Broward helps families, individuals and organizations create personalized charitable Funds that deliver game-changing philanthropic impact. 479 charitable Funds represent more than $200 million in assets, distributing $131 million in grants over the past 36 years. The Community Foundation provides bold leadership on community solutions and fosters philanthropy that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Foundation empowers visionaries, innovators and doers to create the change they want to see in the community – and to BE BOLD. www.cfbroward.org. 
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