Monday, June 23, 2014

A Celebration of Our Heroes- The Caregivers

They are our waiting-room-seat-warmers, chauffeurs, confidantes, chefs, doctor decipher-ers, bouncers, phone screeners, prescription pros, brave-face-holders, silly-joke-providers and unsung heroes, until now.

On Sunday, July 20th, the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation is honoring our heroes, the people who cared for us during our illnesses. It is not limited to breast cancer, either. We are inviting everyone to Nominate Their Hero to publicly acknowledge them at our event and in our journal.

As ever, the party features a special fashion show starring our Warrior Angel Survivor Models who will walk the runway this year with their heroes. Two wonderful shops in Locust Valley, New York, are providing the clothes for our models, "Birch" and "JMclaughlin."

The evening begins with cocktails and "A Taste of Summer" provided by the finest restaurants, caterers, bakeries and specialty shops on the North Shore of Long Island. This will be followed by our Hero Ceremony and the 2014 Alice Roosevelt Longworth Award will be presented to our hero: Marguerite Casparian. For the past ten years, she has lovingly cared for the Oyster Bay Community and was one of the first volunteers at our new Oyster Bay Outreach Center. Marguerite and her husband, the Rev. Peter Casparian, are retiring and moving to Texas this fall. Our party will give the entire community a chance to thank Marguerite for all she has done. She has touched so many lives, and we will miss her very much. The award presentation will be followed by our fashion show.

When the fashion show concludes, the dance party begins.

We are happy to announce that "Mostly Moptop" will be performing the greatest songs of the Beatles and the sixties and they will help us pay homage to the "Summer of '69" through music.

And what a busy summer it was...

Forty-five years ago, on another magical July 20th evening, in 1969, man first walked on the moon.

A couple of weeks later, a little festival took place up the New York thruway called Woodstock, and the Beatles were in Apple Studios recording their last album, Abbey Road.

If you are in the area, or want to make a special trip, grab your hero, some Tang, your love beads and let's all "Come Together" in Oyster Bay!

Reserve your ticket by July 13th. This link will take you to our party page.

All proceeds from our event will go towards the new Oyster Bay Outreach Center. You can read about that here.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Specific Research Aimed at Metastatic Disease

Metastatic breast cancer kills over 40,000 women a year. While there is vast research on detection, treatment and management of early disease, metastatic disease receives the least amount of funding. Since our founding in 2007, the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation has deeply respected the work being done at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. We still do. 

Today, they announced a new research grant specifically targeting how cancer cells return after chemotherapy is over. 

We are proud to support all the work at CSHL and encourage all of our readers to support them as well.

"Metastatic disease is what kills people. If we can stop metastasis, then we can cut the cancer mortality rate."

LI Researcher Wins Grant to Solve a Cancer Mystery
Originally published: June 14, 2014 NEWSDAY

By Delthia Ricks

Months to years after cancer treatment has seemed effective, some malignancies come back -- rebounding with a vengeance and spreading to distant sites.

Understanding how and why potent treatments are rebuffed in certain breast cancers underlies a series of groundbreaking studies at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory overseen by Dr. Mikala Egeblad, who late last week won a highly coveted $2.5 million research award from the Department of Defense.

The grant will aid in her efforts to find out why some breast cancers spread.

"This will really help in speeding it up," Egeblad, 43, said of her work and the additional scientists she will be able to bring onboard to delve deeper into a critical question: How cancers reseed themselves.

Known as the The Era of Hope Scholar Award, the grants are aimed at scientists still in their early career years. The defense department has been funding investigations through its Breast Cancer Research Program since 1992.

Four other scientists won grants out of more than 50 who applied for this year's awards.
Egeblad is exploring the phenomenon scientists call resistance, a cancer's capacity to repel chemotherapy. An estimated 40,000 people nationwide are affected annually by breast cancers that become resistant to treatment.

In her Cold Spring Harbor lab, Egeblad has found that a patient's own immune system cells known as macrophages play a key role in sending subversive signals that are used by tumor cells to spread.

 Normally, macrophages -- chubby cells with a big mouth-like orifice -- are friends, not foe. They gobble up dead tumor cells and virtually any kind of debris, including infectious organisms. Picture the old Pac-Man video game that consumed dots.

But macrophages, Egeblad said, also send signals in the vast communication network of the body allowing cells to "talk" to each other.

"What we found is that when you give chemotherapy, the macrophages come in and clean up all these dead cells but they are also sending signals to the [tumor] cells that are not killed in the first round of chemo. And those signals are making it easier for the tumor to bounce back after chemo," she said.

Precisely what those signals are, no one knows. Egeblad is trying to decode them. She has developed a highly innovative microscopic technique that is allowing her to view -- in mice -- the activity of macrophages in real time.

Egeblad said she consulted with breast cancer survivors to better hone her work toward critical problems patients face.

One of the survivors, Joanne Marquardt of the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition, said by zeroing in on resistant cancer cells, Egeblad is helping to unlock a critical mystery.

"Metastatic disease is what kills people," Marquardt said of cancer's spread. "If we can stop metastasis, then we can cut the cancer mortality rate."

"Right now we are getting much longer survival periods, but if you look at the mortality rates and statistics, most of the [cancer] mortality occurs in patients with metastatic disease."

Marquardt, a North Babylon resident,  is a past consumer member of the Defense Department’s Breast Cancer Research Program. She has evaluated other researchers’ work and said she was excited to learn Egeblad, who lives in Cold Spring Harbor, had won a grant.

"Mikala is very humble," Marquardt said, but added her investigations are cutting-edge and she is a rising star among cancer researchers.