City of Hope’s National Office Products Industry (NOPI) will direct $5 million from its annual fundraising campaigns over the next three years to help fund the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology.
A modern, 108,000-square-foot facility, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center will blend basic science with clinical studies. Research at the center will focus on immunotherapy, a treatment that uses the immune system to fight cancer and other diseases.
For 25 years, NOPI has spearheaded many of City of Hope’s fundraising efforts. The industry group has provided ongoing support for the Center for Biomedicine & Genetics, for example. Noted philanthropists Betty and Irwin Helford, whose generous $36 million lead gift helped begin construction of the Helford Clinical Research Hospital at City of Hope, also are affiliated with the industry group.
“We wanted to focus some of the funds we raised for City of Hope toward a specific initiative. The hope of immunotherapy may provide for those with cancer made this center an ideal project to get behind,” said Ron Sargent, chair and chief executive officer of Staples Inc. and NOPI’s 2006 Spirit of Life® award recipient. Last fall, Sargent also made a personal gift of $50,000 to support the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center, one of several gifts that helped City of Hope qualify for a $5 million matching grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.
“Immunotherapy offers the promise of targeted and effective cancer treatment through the use of a patient’s own immune system to only attack cancer cells without the loss of healthy cells,” added Andrew A. Raubitschek, M.D., chair of the Department of Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology, or CITI. “There are so many patients who need these treatments now. We don’t want these therapies to be possible sometime in the near future — we have a vision and we are realizing it today.”
In its initial support, $500,000 of the industry group’s 2006 contributions are earmarked for the National Office Products Industry Cellular and Tumor Immunotherapies Center, which will be located on the third floor of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center.