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Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Gives $610,000 to support Aurora Cancer Care and Cancer Research

May 9, 2014

The Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Board of Directors announced plans to award $610,000 to Aurora Health Care to support enhancements to its cancer care program and local cancer research conducted by investigators with the Aurora Research Institute.

“Our mission is to help more people who hear the words ‘you have cancer’ know that there is hope and support to help them beat this disease, and this investment will help us do that,” said Brent Morris, President of the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Board.

Morris announced this gift at the Foundation’s annual donor recognition event on Thursday, May 1, at the Blue Mound Golf and Country Club in Wauwatosa. The Lombardi Foundation’s gift will support the following projects:

• $200,000 to develop a multidisciplinary clinic renovation at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center.
• $110,000 to support an additional oncology nurse navigator at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center.
• $100,000 in matched funds to events benefiting the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation outside of the metro-Milwaukee area. Dollars will be credited to a specific Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in their respective Community.
• $200,000 to support the Aurora Research Institute Cancer Research Awards.
The 2014 Aurora Research Institute Cancer Research Award recipients include the following five new awardees and continued funding for two investigators:
• Martin Corsten, MD, whose research focuses determining if inflammation has an impact on human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the oral cavity. This study will be the first step in determining if inflammation has a role in predisposing some people to HPV related throat cancers.
• Amin Kassam, MD, to establish a Brain Tumor Stem Cell (BTSC) bank at the Aurora Research Institute, which will provide the resource and infrastructure that is needed for the research community to perform the research and development to further understand these cells and devise novel treatments for brain tumor.
• Santhi Konduri, PhD, to investigate whether disulfiram in combination with other cancer therapies can inhibit breast and pancreatic cancer growth.
• Dhimant Patel, MD, whose research looks at determining the safest dose of curcumin in patients who have mucositis due to chemotherapy and/or radiation. The secondary objectives of this study are to determine whether curcumin decreases oral mucositis, decreases pain associated with oral mucositis, decreases the duration of mucositis and is safe.
• Michael Thompson, MD, PhD, whose project aims to provide important Information about the best way and time to vaccinate multiple myeloma patients to flu and pneumonia vaccines
• Rubina Qamar, MD, who was awarded continued funds to clarify which biomarkers can be useful in clinics for early detection of cardiotoxicity related to chemotherapy and may predict the long term outcome related to this cardiotoxicity.
• Judy Tjoe, MD, To more definitively determine if markers of inflammation, obesity, and health are influenced by goal-oriented, moderate-intensity exercise in breast cancer survivors exposed to systemic therapy; and investigate mechanisms of cancer-related fatigue in an integrative fashion and further evaluate exercise as a means to reduce cancer-related fatigue in patients who have undergone breast cancer treatment.

“We are proud of our more than 25 year partnership with the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation, and look forward to continued efforts that ultimately help patients receive the very best care available – right here in Wisconsin, “ said James Weese, MD, Vice President of Aurora Cancer Care.

Through its partnership with Aurora Health Care, the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation has contributed more than $16 million to Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic sites at Aurora Health Care facilities across eastern Wisconsin. For more information about the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation, visit LombardiFoundation.org.

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