Please join us on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 for a night to remember in support of the best and brightest scientists conducting groundbreaking cancer research in Israel. Our second virtual Ribbons of Hope gala will bring ICRF chapters from across the country together to celebrate cutting-edge advancements in cancer research and share stories of science, survival and hope.

This year we are proud to honor our host, beloved comedian Richard Kind, and chapter honorees, Cynthia Perl, Cindy Pogrund, William Meyers and Marjorie B. Cohen, z"l, for their meaningful contributions to ICRF's mission of ending the suffering caused by cancer. Special guests will include ICRF scientist Dr. Jacob Hanna and Joseph Shamie, businessman and philanthropist, who will share his cancer journey.
ICRF Scientists: Update on Lung Cancer Research

August 1 is World Lung Cancer Day. Lung cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers worldwide, and ICRF is currently supporting several researchers working in this area:
Lior Nissim, PhD, of The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, is the recipient of an Immunotherapy Promise™ grant, an ICRF funding partnership with Cancer Research Institute. Synthetic biology is a rapidly-evolving field that combines biology and engineering to develop practical solutions for biomedicine. Dr. Nissim’s lab is focused on applying a synthetic-biology approach to enhance the safety and efficacy of current lung cancer immunotherapies.

Neta Erez, PhD, of the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, is the recipient of an ICRF Project Grant. Cancer mortality is almost exclusively a result of tumor metastasis. Dr. Erez is studying the role of immune cells and fibroblasts (a specific type of connective tissue cell) in facilitating breast cancer metastasis to the lungs.
Ariel Munitz, PhD, also of the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, is the recipient of an International Collaboration grant under the Jacki & Bruce Barron Cancer Research Scholars’ Program, a partnership between ICRF and City of Hope. His collaborator is Dr. Hua Yu. Dr. Munitz is an expert in the biology of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell, traditionally studied in the context of allergic diseases) and Dr. Yu is an expert in STAT3 (a protein that transmits signals for the maturation of immune system cells). Together, they expect to uncover new roles for STAT3 and eosinophils in breast cancer-driven lung metastases.
   Facts about Lung Cancer

  • There are two main types of lung cancer: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). About 80 to 85 percent of lung cancers are NSCLC; the other 10 to 15 percent are SCLC. SCLC tends to grow and spread faster than NSCLC. About 70 percent of people with NSCLC will have cancer that has already spread by the time they are diagnosed.
  • Although smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, almost two-thirds of all new diagnoses are in people who have never smoked or are former smokers. In fact, up to 30,000 Americans who have never smoked are diagnosed with lung cancer every year.
  • About 235,760 new cases of lung cancer are projected in 2021; approximately 131,880 deaths are expected this year.
  • Lung cancer mainly occurs in older people. The average age of diagnosis is 70.
  • Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among men and women, comprising 25 percent of all cancer deaths.
  • The number of new lung cancer cases continues to decrease due to the fact that less people are smoking as well as advances in early detection and treatment.
  • Statistics on survival depend on the stage of the cancer when diagnosed.
  • Treatments vary and may include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radio surgery, and immunotherapy.
.........Source: ACS
Cancer Awareness Month

August is HPV Awareness Month
HPV: Why Should My 9-Year-Old Get the Vaccine?
To coincide with HPV Awareness Month, ICRF board member and former National Executive Director, Dr. Mark Israel, a pediatric oncologist, responds to questions about HPV and the vaccine.

What is HPV?
HPV is a widely used abbreviation for a large family of viruses, the Human Papilloma Viruses. Selected types (species) of HPV can cause cancer which has led to research and public health efforts to prevent such cancers by stemming the spread of HPV. HPV infection may occur as the result of sexual contact, and prevention focuses on encouraging safe sex, early detection, treatment of pre-cancerous disease, and vaccination against viral infection. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the world.

What are cancer vaccines and why should I vaccinate my nine-year-old child?
Three HPV vaccines available in the U.S. are approved for the prevention of cervical cancer and other conditions caused by certain types of HPV. HPV vaccines program the body’s immune system to be highly effective in eliminating types of HPV that cause cancer. It is important to be vaccinated as a preteen because vaccine efficacy is greatest if the vaccine is administered before onset of sexual activity and protective responses to the vaccine are highest when the vaccine is administered between nine and 15 years of age. 
The CDC has reported that the HPV infections with types of HPV that cause most of the HPV-related cancers have dropped 86 percent among teenage girls following the introduction of vaccines.
Dr. Mark Israel
ICRF, ASCO Announce 2021 Collaborative Award 
Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, is pleased to announce Shlomit Strulov Shachar, MD, of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center as the recipient of the 2021 Conquer Cancer-Israel Cancer Research Fund Career Development Award (CDA).

Dr. Shachar's proposed study entitled, “Identifying Molecular Oncogenic Drivers Associated with Differential Clinical Benefit to Inhibition of the PI3K Pathway in Estrogen Receptor-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer” will focus on identifying mechanisms of drug resistance associated with hormone receptor-positive (HR+) metastatic breast cancer, which is one of the most common subtypes of breast cancer. 

“Treating metastatic breast cancer is a challenge, and this grant will allow us to investigate the mechanism of resistance to systemic therapy and hopefully find the optimal treatment sequencing of hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer,” said Dr. Shachar. 

This is the second year of collaboration between Conquer Cancer and Israel Cancer Research Fund to award a CDA supporting high-quality clinical oncology research by an early career physician scientist in Israel. The CDA is a three-year, $200,000 grant that provides resources to clinical and translational investigators during their initial years of faculty appointment when funding is especially challenging. The grant period starts on September 1, 2021.

“ICRF is so pleased to collaborate once again with Conquer Cancer. Together we can fund the research of Dr. Shlomit Strulov Shachar, a deserving early stage investigator, who will focus on identifying drug resistance in metastatic cancer," said Beryl Chernov, ICRF National Executive Director. "It is gratifying to partner with an organization such as Conquer Cancer that is also committed to supporting researchers at various levels of career development."
ICRF Chicago Tees Up With Ravinia Green
for Golf Event
Ravinia Green is hosting a charity golf event in support of ICRF and the ClubCorp Employee Partners Care Foundation. The full-day event will feature two golf tournaments, tennis drills, swimming, in addition to breakfast, lunch and cocktails.
To register, please click here.
ICRF Ribbons of Hope Virtual Celebration
With Host and Honoree Richard Kind
Learn more, donate or register here.
ICRF Scientist to Present Update on Cancer Therapies
ICRF researcher, Professor Rotem Karni, Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, will address an intimate group on “ The RNA Therapeutics Revolution,” August 25 at 7:30 pm CST.

His presentation will focus on the connection between cancer immunology and vaccines and the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. David Hakimian, Illinois Cancer Specialists, will moderate the event. When asked how ICRF has impacted his research, Professor Karni said, "As a young researcher, ICRF was one of my most important funding sources, giving me an opportunity to develop my research. Then, receiving the Len and Susan Mark Initiative for Ovarian Cancer enabled me to study and develop novel approaches for ovarian cancer treatments. ICRF has been an important support for my research in the past ten years, enabling us to start and translate our findings into therapies. Several technologies have been developed in my lab to treat cancer, patents have been registered in the U.S. and Europe, and this year a startup biotech company will be initiated based on one of these technologies."

For more information, please contact Sandy Rosen, 847.638.6125.
News Roundup