by Cheryl Regan
Every long drive, every birdie and every bunker shot at the recent City of Hope Golf Classic was dedicated to a single purpose: building on the legacy of the late Tim Nesvig to fight cancer.
Held in Rye, N.Y., the popular annual golf tournament and dinner raised more than $1 million for the Tim Nesvig Lymphoma Fellowship and Research Fund.
|Stephen Forman (Photo by Walter Urie)|
Nesvig, a lifelong athlete and marketing executive who worked for ESPN/ABC Sports, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s B-cell lymphoma in 2003. Despite a stem cell transplant at City of Hope, his lymphoma returned, and he died in 2005 at age 30. The Nesvig family established a research fund, under the direction of Stephen J. Forman, M.D., Francis and Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, to better understand the causes of lymphoma and develop better treatments.
Forman attended the July 25 event to update attendees on the how their contributions have helped battle lymphoma.
He noted that the fund has helped young and senior physicians and lab scientists initiate their own new lines of research, touching on genetics and other factors behind lymphoma, as well as treatments and complications. Funds also have helped keep other important projects going in tight fiscal times. About $1.2 million from the research fund was allocated to 24 seed grants in January.
In addition, the fund supported studies by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Forman underscored progress made by the 2010 Tim Nesvig Lymphoma Research Fellow, Robert Chen, M.D. Chen conducted phase II clinical trials for the new drug brentuximab. The drug has proved so successful that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved it for use against certain relapsed and systemic lymphomas.
|Hua Yu (Photo by Walter Urie)|
The event, emceed by renowned sportscaster Joe Buck, also highlighted the 2011-12 recipient of the Tim Nesvig Lymphoma Fellowship: Hua Yu, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology.
Yu’s research focuses on molecular immunology in the tumor microenvironment.
“I am grateful to be named the Tim Nesvig Lymphoma Research Fellow,” Yu said. “The Nesvig family deeply understands how important it is to keep making progress against cancer both in the lab and in the clinic.”
The recent fundraising event drew 240 golfers to the Westchester Country Club despite a summer rainstorm, nearly matching 2010’s record of 250 golfers. More than 400 guests attended this year’s dinner. The event has raised more than $8 million since its inception.