Spring Pop Up: Quilt Sale

Spring Pop Up quilt sale

 

Special thanks to lung cancer survivor Bonnie Ziskin for handcrafting each quilt, hosting this event and supporting the work of A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation.

Volunteer of the Month: Stacy Strojny

StacStacy Strojnyy is the lead volunteer for the A Breath of Hope Lung Run/Walk program. Her volunteerism began in 2014 after participating in the 2013 Twin Cities 5k. Since then she has helped launch ABOHLF’s first-ever Chicago 5k, Duluth 5k and Florida 5k. You will find Stacy in the registration tent graciously managing 35+ volunteers with a bright smile on her face. Stacy is the first to offer a helping hand and pours her heart and soul into the Lung Run/Walk events – and it shows! Her professionalism and attention to detail make Lung Run/Walk events run smoothly.

Thank you, Stacy, for your commitment and passion! You are greatly appreciated.

From Stacy: “I feel so blessed to be a part of ABOHLF! It has helped me keep my mother’s memory alive and to continue her legacy of kindness, compassion, and helping others in need. I could have never imagined how much this organization/staff, and the many people I have met along the way, could have such a positive impact on me! I will forever have a hole in my heart, missing my mom, but having the privilege to be surrounded by all of these wonderful people has somehow filled a void that I never thought was possible. It is amazing how I still feel very connected to my mom! For that I am truly blessed and grateful to everyone who works and volunteers for ABOHLF! Thank you for all the work that you do and for allowing me this opportunity to honor my mom!!”

 

Wild Promotion

Mac LeFevre

Uncle Mac finishes another run

Mac was a marathon runner, never smoked and has a father who is active and well at age 95. Mac was always healthy.

Read more

My/our mother Margaret Asenbrenner was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in February, 2010.  She was a happy and healthy wife and mother of eight children.  The diagnosis took us all by surprise as lung cancer was not something my siblings and I thought much about and never envisioned our mother as a lung cancer risk as she was a non smoker. She lived seven months with the disease until she passed away in September, 2010.
Our mother Margaret was an amazing lady and inspiration to all of us kids.  She spent her life giving of her time and love to our family and many others.  We learned about A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation from our good friend Gary Brausen who had been diagnosed with lung cancer as well.  Gary shared with my husband Bill and me the mission of A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation and the amazing work the organization is doing.  I feel the model is very compelling in that it focuses on three key areas: lung cancer awareness, detection and treatments.  I am particularly energized about the recently announced research fellowships.
My siblings and I had been looking for some way to get involved in the fight against lung cancer as a way to “do something” about the devastating disease and honor our beloved mother with the same spirit of giving and love that she exemplified in her life.  We have participated in A Breath of Hope Run/Walk for the last two years.  This year we had 20 family and friends participate on “Team Margaret”.
As a family, we feel we lost our mother way too early in life due to lung cancer.  She had so much more life in her left to live. Our hope in getting involved with A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation is to ensure that other families don’t lose their loved ones to lung cancer before their time. This is an avoidable diagnosis.

Research Funded by A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation

2013 Project
Drilon Photo 355 x 427 pix

Alexander Drilon, MD
Medical Oncology Fellow, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

One of the ways tumors can grow and spread is by blocking a person’s immune system from recognizing and destroying tumor cells. Drugs are now being developed that can overcome this block, allowing a person’s own immune system to start attacking the tumor. One such immune boosting drug, BMS-936558, has shown promise at treating patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. However, this drug does not work for all patients. Dr. Drilon’s goal is to identify which patients are most likely to benefit from this therapy.

Dr. Drilon’s grant will fund a clinical trial to investigate whether patients with a specific tumor biomarker will be more likely to respond to BMS-936558 compared to patients without the biomarker. In addition, he will investigate other biomarkers that may predict response to this drug.

Non-Technical Abstract – Phase II and Biomarker Study of BMS-936558 in PI3K-Active Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers

Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancers are incurable with currently available therapies. For the first time, however, drugs that work by boosting the immune system such as BMS-936558 have provided a glimpse into the possibility of long-term responses and potential cure for a small percentage of patients with advanced disease. BMS-936558 is active against non-small cell lung cancers, with some patients continuing to benefit from the drug well beyond one year.

To maximize these successes, we must be able to identify patients who will benefit the most from BMS-936558. Studies suggest that non-small cell lung cancers with potential activation of a growth pathway called the PI3 kinase pathway may be more susceptible to treatment with the drug. Our clinical experience at Memorial Sloan-Kettering supports this observation: patients with evidence of PI3 kinase activation have had dramatic responses to BMS-936558 both in combination with chemotherapy and with the drug alone as maintenance therapy.

This phase 2 clinical trial is the first study of its kind to give BMS-936558 to patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancers with evidence of an active PI3 kinase pathway. Our hypothesis is that these patients will be more likely to respond to BMS-936558 compared to unselected patients. In addition, we are also looking at other markers that may predict response to this drug, such as the changes in immune cells that occur after treatment with BMS-936558.

A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation is proud to partner with National Lung Cancer Partnership and has disbursed $54,000 in support of this project (February 2013).


2012 Projects and earlier

Bivona headshot3

Trever Bivona, MD PhD 
Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco

Approximately 20% of non-small cell lung cancers have mutations in a gene called EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor). While a drug called erlotinib (Tarceva®) appears especially effective in controlling these tumors, most tumors become resistant to the effects of the drug over time. These patients’ drug resistance can be promoted by the activation of a gene called AXL, so Dr. Bivona’s research seeks to understand how AXL promotes erlotinib resistance. This project could lead to clinical trials that determine whether drugs that block AXL can improve erlotinib¹s effectiveness, helping patients on the drug live longer. A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation is proud to partner with the National Lung Cancer Partnership on funding this project. $108,000 was disbursed in 2012 and 2013 in support of this project.


Byers
Lauren A. Byers, MD
Sponsoring Institution: University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Title of Project: PARP1 as a novel therapeutic target in small cell lung cancer

There is an urgent, unmet need for more effective treatments for patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC), a highly lethal malignancy with an incidence rate similar to that of ovarian cancer or glioblastoma. Recently we discovered that poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), a protein that repairs damaged DNA, is dramatically overexpressed in SCLC and that SCLC cells are killed by treatment with drugs that inhibit PARP1. We predict that PARP inhibition may increase the activity of chemotherapies that act by damaging the DNA of cancer cells. Therefore, we designed a clinical trial to test the combination of a PARP inhibitor (ABT-888) with chemotherapy (TMZ) in SCLC  patients who have progressed despite receiving one or more standard chemotherapy regimens. In this project, we will develop potential tumor and blood biomarkers that can predict those patients most likely to benefit from this therapy. Our results are directly applicable to the clinic and will lead to more personalized therapeutic strategies for proteins battling this deadly disease. Preliminary data garnered through these studies will be invaluable for future planned clinical trials of PARP inhibitors in SCLC and potentially in other malignancies, such as breast and ovarian cancer, where these drugs have shown clinical activity. A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation is proud to partner with LUNGevity on funding this and other research projects. $55,000 was disbursed for this 2011-2012 project.


Heymach
John V. Heymach, MD
Sponsoring Institution: University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Title of Project: Predictive blood-based markers of response to VEGF inhibitors in NSCLC
Research Summary: Predictive blood-based markers of response to VEGF inhibitors in NSCLC

Drugs that target tumor blood vessels, such as bevacizumab and other inhibitors of the VEGF pathway, have improved survival in patients with advanced NSCLC, but only a subset of patients benefit significantly from the drugs while others experience no benefit or even life-threatening toxicities. Furthermore, almost all NSCLC tumors eventually become resistant to these treatments. There is therefore a critical unmet need for biomarkers to identify which patients will benefit from a VEGF inhibitor (predictive markers) and to understand how tumors become resistant to these agents. A major challenge for developing these markers is that tumor angiogenesis is promoted by circulating cytokines and angiogenic factors (CAFs) that may be produced by the tumor as well as the host. Therefore, it is likely that predictive markers for VEGF inhibitors may reflect both influences. For this reason, we hypothesize that by comprehensively profiling angiogenesis-related CAFs and other peptides in the blood, as well as germline variations in angiogenesis-related genes, predictive markers for identifying which patients benefit from VEGF inhibitors (alone or with chemotherapy) can be developed and validated. The PIs of this proposal have already conducted studies establishing three promising and potentially complementary approaches to identify predictive markers using blood samples: 1) multiplex CAF profiling; 2) proteomic analysis using mass spectroscopy (MALDI-TOF); and 3) a signature of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in three angiogenesis genes. In this proposal, these three approaches will be tested using samples from completed clinical trials of VEGF inhibitors in NSCLC patients; the most promising markers will then be validated using samples from two independent randomized trials. These studies have the potential to significantly advance the treatment of NSCLC patients by identifying which patients are most likely to benefit from a VEGF inhibitor, and by sparing patients who are unlikely to benefit from these drugs. They can also provide critical insights into mechanisms of resistance that can guide future combination regimens. $55,000 was disbursed by A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation in 2011 to support this project.

Amazon Smile

What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.
How do I shop at AmazonSmile?
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.
Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations?
Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.
Can I use my existing Amazon.com account on AmazonSmile?
Yes, you use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.
How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?
On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation.
Can I change my charity?
Yes, you can change your charity any time. Your AmazonSmile purchases after the change count towards your newly selected charity. To change your charity, sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser and simply select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.”
What charities can I choose from?
You can choose from almost one million eligible 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations.
What if my selected charity does not register to participate in the AmazonSmile program or becomes ineligible?
If an organization does not register to participate or becomes ineligible, you will have a chance to select a different organization or we will redistribute donations earned among other organizations receiving donations.
If I represent a charitable organization, how can I learn more about registering my organization for AmazonSmile?
Go to org.amazon.com to learn how to register your organization to receive donations.
How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?
The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, we may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details.
Can I receive a tax deduction for amounts donated from my purchases on AmazonSmile?
Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation and are not tax deductible by you.
How can I learn more about AmazonSmile?
Please see complete AmazonSmile program details.

A Breath of Hope Research Fellowships – RFP – Now closed.

On January 15, 2014, A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation (ABOH) launched its first national RFP grant process in search of two scientists to receive $150,000 research fellowships paid over two years. Specifically, ABOH seeks to partner with universities and cancer institutions to support the salaries of two of our country’s brightest young research talents as they conduct lung cancer specific research. With a  focus on researchers who are conducting translational lung cancer research that will lead to patient care/clinical trial within three to five years, our goal is to be part of the solution for the ‘brain drain’ that is forcing promising lung cancer researchers into other fields due to lack of funding in the lung cancer field.

Research proposals were accepted until midnight April 1 and are now in the hands of the review panel, made up of oncology experts from around the nation.  Applications are no longer being accepted for 2014 Fellowship Awards.Funding announcements will be made in June.

View RFP (now closed)

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