On the heels of this tremendous achievement, ICRF spoke with Prof. Rechavi in an exclusive interview about his research, what inspires him, the role that ICRF has played in his career and more (available in full below).
ICRF is proud to have supported his work as an early career scientist, and the significance of the role played by ICRF's funding continues to drive his involvement in the ISC today. He shared: "The first research grant I received at the beginning of my research was from the Israel Cancer Research Fund. It allowed me to set up my lab and helped me establish a scientific career in tandem with my medical work. For years, I have volunteered as a member of the ICRF International Scientific Council...My compensation is the contribution of ICRF to Israeli cancer researchers, especially to young researchers."
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN for this month's installment of ICRF Presents: Brilliant Minds:
LIVING WITH LUNG CANCER:
A LOOK AT PROMISING CANCER THERAPIES
THURSDAY, JUNE 25
12:00-12:45 PM ET ǀ 11:00-11:45 AM CT
Join us as Linnea Olson, patient advocate and activist, shares her inspiring story of living with non-small cell lung cancer for over fourteen years and her journey through three phase I clinical trials (see feature story below). ICRF-funded scientist Ravid Straussman, MD, PhD(Weizmann Institute), will discuss his groundbreaking research on different tumor tissue bacteria and how their unique properties can lead to more targeted and effective therapies for lung and other cancers.
To learn about webinar sponsorship opportunities and benefits, please contact
To mark National Cancer Survivors Month this year, ICRF is pleased to launch this special column from the perspective of cancer survivor and new ICRF Board member Linnea Olson.
My name is Linnea and I have stage IV lung cancer. Diagnosed at the age of 45 in 2005, I quickly exhausted conventional treatments. Three years after diagnosis I was advised that I had three to five months to live. And then a remarkable thing happened.
A biopsy revealed a newly identified oncogene, and by chance a phase I clinical trial had just opened at the very hospital where I received my treatment. My oncologist told me that one other person had enrolled, but had quickly died, in part because of side effects of the experimental therapeutic.
I was between the proverbial rock and a hard place. My cancer was going to kill me, but the trial was for a targeted therapy. Targeted therapy? Sounded promising. I felt a faint glimmer of hope. Maybe I could extend my life for several months. I just hoped the trial drug wouldn’t hasten my demise.
I chose to participate and after qualifying, became the 4th person in the world with non small lung cancer to take an ALK inhibitor. Within a matter of days the symptoms of my lung cancer began to subside. At my scan review seven weeks later, my oncologist was literally beaming as he pulled up my before and after scans. My cancer had seemingly melted away.
However, I was cautioned that this did not represent a cure. Honestly, what mattered to me was that I had been given another chance.
Twelve years and three more first--in--human trials later, I am still here. My three children are all adults now, and I have reveled in the chance to watch them grow.
I have also become a vocal advocate/activist for clinical trials. Medical research is my lifeline but given my extensive boots on the ground experience, I am also acutely aware of ways in which clinical research could be made more compassionate and user friendly, boosting patient participation in the process.
Of course, we now have a fresh challenge as we face the COVID-19 pandemic together. Between the necessity of social isolation and the diversion of resources, clinical trials are being placed on hold while dollars for cancer research shrivel. But cancer is relentless, never shelters in place. More than ever, we need to support the basic science and translational research that yields the promising therapies that will keep our pipelines full and provide hope and a chance to endure for millions of cancer patients.
Israel Cancer Research Fund is committed to weathering this storm. In every crisis there is opportunity. Even as I work to streamline and enhance the clinical trial process, there is an opportunity right now to help secure the future of Israel’s cancer research. Cancer is pernicious but it is no match for the human desire to live or, I hope, a generous heart. Please support Israel’s brilliant, life extending cancer research. My life depends on it. Maybe, one day, yours will too.
UPCOMING EVENTS - SAVE THE DATE!
ICRF NEW YORK:
Virtual Celebrate Israel Parade ǀ June 7
The event will premiere at 1 PM ET on Youtube andcelebrateisraelny.orgas well as shared on Facebook and Twitter by the Parade (@CelebrateIsraelParade) and ICRF (@ICRFONLINE).This year's theme is Todah (thank you).
Mark your calendars for a fun evening of inspiration and hope! Exciting lineup of special guests as well as information on sponsorship opportunities and registration to be announced soon. Tickets are complimentary.
ICRF CONNECTICUT HOSTS TWO VIRTUAL EVENTS
WEBINAR: "CANCER RESEARCH
IN THE TIME OF COVID"
WITH DR. MARK ISRAEL
West Hartford's Temple Beth El invited ICRF National Executive Director Dr. Mark Israel to initiate their series 'Updates from Israel' with a look at cancer research in the time of COVID-19. Watch recording here:
CONNECTICUT CHAPTER TAKES RESPITE WITH VIRTUAL CHEESE TASTING
The evening included welcoming words from emergency medicine physician and ICRF CT 2020 Young Leader Honoree Jason Fischel, MD and Chapter Chairman Leslie Freedman, PhD and closed with a drawing to win a 'virtual coffee' with ICRF granteeDr. Rotem Karni of Hebrew University.
JUNE NEWS ROUNDUP
New Rapid Test for Detecting Coronavirus(American Technion Society) - ICRF grantee Naama Geva-Zatorsky, PhD from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has developed a novel rapid home test for COVID.
Israel Cancer Research Fund's mission is to support the best and brightest scientists conducting groundbreaking cancer research at all of the leading institutions in Israel. To date, ICRF has competitively awarded over $72 million in funding for nearly 2,500 grants, making ICRF the largest nongovernmental funder of cancer research in Israel.