A unique Zoom conversation with two of the nation’s leading scientists working on new treatments for brain and bone cancer is being presented by Swim Across America Fairfield County at 7:00 p.m. (ET), Wednesday, June 16, 2021.
This free event is being offered to provide supporters, volunteers and swimmers participating in the annual Swim Across America Fairfield County open water swim an opportunity to meet and hear from the scientists they are helping to support. Since this event is being offered via Zoom, Swim Across America Fairfield County is making the evening available to anyone who has an interest in learning more about new potential treatments for treating brain and bone cancers. To register and obtain the link for the conversation, visit Swim Across America Fairfield County’s Facebook page at facebook.com/saafairfieldco or the event link at https://bit.ly/3cmggXZ.
“I am extremely grateful to Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy and Swim Across America for funding this next phase of our work. At a time when federal funding has become scarce, it’s wonderful and inspiring to see organizations step up to support the potential of innovative science. Together, we will continue our fight to find better ways to help cancer patients.”
Dr. Stephen Gottschalk is researching better treatments for pediatric sarcoma or bone cancer. With a grant from Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy and Swim Across America Fairfield County, Dr. Gottschalk is conducting preclinical studies with the ultimate goal of developing a clinical trial. His novel strategy leverages an approach to CAR T-cell therapy that yielded promising results in other preclinical models. Using not one, but two different protein targets, Dr. Gottschalk expects to fortify a patient’s immune system to successfully attack and destroy sarcomas along with the blood vessels that support their growth.
"Pediatric sarcoma, which comes back after initial therapy or is present at multiple sites, is difficult to treat even with the most aggressive, currently available therapies. Because sarcomas are a relatively uncommon group of cancers, accounting for about 15 percent of childhood cancers, improving outcomes has been challenging. This grant enables me to further investigate how we can leverage different proteins to attack not only abnormal sarcoma cells, but also the blood vessels that provide nutrients to tumors. We’ve seen this approach work in mice. Given the resources from this grant, we can move ahead much faster to complete all the preclinical studies that are need to evaluate our approach in the clinic.”
Dr. Gottschalk's success using gene therapy to successfully treat and save young people afflicted by the rare but deadly diagnosis often called "bubble boy syndrome" is another example of how gene therapy is revolutionizing how doctors approach and treat life-threatening diseases.
Why brain and bone cancer? We all have a loved one or a friend who has been impacted by cancer — and a diagnosis of brain or bone cancer (including pediatric sarcoma) can be devastating. In 2021, it is estimated that 1.9 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed and there will be 608,570 cancer deaths in the U.S. These staggering statistics offer compelling proof of the need to continue devising new approaches to treatment. Whether it is through swimming, volunteering, donating or cheering on loved ones and friends, Swim Across America Fairfield County welcomes anyone and everyone who wants to be a part of the fight against cancer.
Funds raised by Swim Across America Fairfield County go directly to support scientific cancer gene therapy grants to research fellows chosen and awarded by Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy. Swim Across America Fairfield County has raised $4.3 million over the past 15 years helping to fund 11 research fellows at Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy.