by Dan Lacovara and Wayne Lewis
Change is afoot for one of City of Hope’s signature events.
For 16 years, tens of thousands of survivors and supporters have participated in Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer. The series of national fundraising walks has raised almost $30 million for City of Hope’s breast cancer treatment, research and education programs.
Building upon this success, City of Hope will broaden the focus of Walk for Hope this year. The events will raise funds to support the new Women’s Cancers Program, which encompasses efforts to fight breast cancer and gynecologic cancers such as ovarian, cervical and endometrial and uterine cancers.
“As scientists have discovered more about what causes these cancers, they have come to understand that many are related to the same factors. Answers we find for one women’s cancer help us in our fight against others,” said Michael A. Friedman, M.D., president and chief executive officer of City of Hope.
“To support these intensified collaborative efforts, we have expanded our Walk for Hope,” said Friedman, who also serves as director of the comprehensive cancer center and holds the Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair.
The first 2010 Walk for Hope event occurs in San Diego on May 22, followed by walks in Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The Los Angeles Walk for Hope, taking place on the City of Hope campus, is the last event of the season.
The Women’s Cancers Program is an interdisciplinary effort bringing together researchers and clinicians from across many of City of Hope’s departments and divisions. Last summer, City of Hope named it one of three new strategic integrated programs — programs receiving special emphasis to propel them to national prominence.
Under the aegis of the Women’s Cancers Program, City of Hope scientists are studying risk factors for breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers, as well as interventions that could reduce those risks.
Researchers also are identifying potential therapies, focusing on targeted treatments to disrupt the cellular pathways that help cancer thrive.
In other studies, scientists seek to understand the challenges experienced by women undergoing treatment for breast and gynecologic cancers, aiming to ease the complications survivors may face.
“We’re thrilled to have the support of Walk for Hope. The money our walkers and their donors provide will give us the boost we need to help even more women live longer, healthier lives,” said Joanne Mortimer, M.D., director of the Women’s Cancers Program.
To find out more about Walk for Hope, please visit www.walk4hope.org.