MARCH 2022
Calling All Researchers – Two New Grant Opportunities Available

Israel Cancer Research Fund is delighted to be funding two new research grants!

The Special ICRF Initiative in Pediatric Cancer Research has been established to encourage outstanding investigators in Israel to focus on and expand their research in cancers occurring in children, leading to a better understanding of pediatric cancers, new treatments and, ultimately, higher survival rates and reduced treatment- and tumor-related morbidity.

The Conquer Cancer (The ASCO Foundation) – ICRF Career Development Award (CC-ICRF CDA) will provide funding to Israeli clinical investigators who have received their initial faculty appointment to establish an independent clinical cancer research program.

Both grants will begin funding in 2022. If you are interested in applying, read more about the grants and their qualifications on our website.
ICRF Funds Scientists Researching Colorectal Cancer
ICRF-funded scientists are performing cutting-edge cancer research in colon cancer to gain a better understanding of why and how this cancer develops. Below are highlights of some of our investigators, including two one-on-one interviews.
Michal Baniyash, PhD, an ICRF Research Professorship grantee at Hebrew University, is studying how uncontrolled inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract can develop into colorectal cancer (CRC).
Sivia Barnoy, PhD, an ICRF Project Grant recipient at Tel Aviv University, is using cascade genetic screening to identify people who are mutation carriers for Lynch syndrome, the most common cause of hereditary colorectal cancer.
Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu, PhD, an ICRF Project Grant recipient at Tel Aviv University, has developed a promising treatment to reduce the risk of metastases after colorectal cancer surgery that is now being tested in a large-scale clinical study.
Yonatan Stelzer, PhD, an ICRF Research Career Development Award recipient at the Weizmann Institute of Science, is researching how an epigenetic mutation in the IGF2 gene within the small intestine may lead to colon cancer.
ICRF Scientist Probes Link Between Inflammation, Colon Cancer

Chronic inflammation can increase the chances of colon cancer. Professor Ruth Scherz-Shouval of Weizmann Institute of Science, an ICRF Project Grant recipient, discusses her research in this area and what she and her team hope to achieve.
Can you please briefly describe the relationship between chronic inflammation and colon cancer?

Ongoing inflammation causes constant irritation and wounding of the inflamed tissue. Our body responds to this by trying to heal the wound, and it does so by activating cells of our immune system, as well as fibroblasts – the cells that build the connective tissue in our body. Together these cells work to build new tissue to replace the injured one. When this process is repeated many times, the excessive activation of these cells creates a fertile soil for cancer cells to seed in.

Normal cells mutate into cancer cells by chance many times. Usually this is not enough to turn into a tumor, but combined with a fertile soil the chances that this cancer cell will form a tumor increase.

Colorectal Statistics

  • The older the person, the greater the risk (however, by 2030, cases of colorectal cancer in people under 50 are expected to double).
  • Medical guidelines now recommend screening at age 45. 
  • With regular screening, most polyps can be removed before developing into cancer (or in early stages of cancer).
  • Personal history of polyps and irritable bowel disease increase risk.
  • Diet and exercise may lower your risk of colon cancer.
  • Treatments include image-guide therapies (CT and MRIs), radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Colorectal Cancer, Liver Metastasis Focus of ICRF Grant

Dr. Tal Falick Michaeli, ICRF Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, talks about the role behavior and environment play in metastasis of the liver during regeneration, after treatment with resection.
We are particularly interested in your research as it relates to colorectal cancer. Can you describe what you are working on?

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in terms of incidence and the fourth in mortality. The liver is the most common site of metastasis in patients with colorectal cancer, with more than 50 percent of patients developing liver metastasis during the first three years following diagnosis. There are several ways to treat liver metastasis; however, the main approach to achieve a cure is by liver resection whenever possible, especially in patients with liver isolated CRC. Although the liver has a remarkable regeneration capacity, after resection, liver metastases recur in about 75 percent of patients.

Our research aims to decipher the role of epigenetic (the study of how behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect how genes work) regulation in the regeneration process following hepatic resection in a mouse colorectal liver metastasis model. We are also exploring the altered epigenetic landscape in normal hepatocytes (cells in the liver) adjacent to the transformed cells in a mouse model, as well as in human liver tissues. 

I wish to thank the ICRF for supporting my research as part of its continued participation in the global goal of understanding the mechanisms of cancer with the hope for better treatments and cures. 

Professor Tal Falick Michaeli
Symposium Spotlights Shared Research Between ICRF, City of Hope

American and Israeli cancer scientists and doctors convened in February to discuss, "New Targets
and Therapies in Cancer," as part of the fifth annual Jacki and Bruce Barron Cancer Research Scholars’ Program Symposium. The program, a partnership between ICRF and City of Hope, supports groundbreaking research between exceptional cancer researchers in the United States and Israel. It was made possible through the leadership and generous support of The Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation, Jacki & Bruce Barron, and The Norman and Sadie Lee Foundation.

At this year’s symposium, presentations highlighted the results of the teams’ research on diagnosis, treatment and therapy for lung cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma, lymphoma and myeloma.

"The Jackie and Bruce Barron Cancer Research Scholars’ Program brings together American and Israeli scientists and physicians who have dedicated their lives to finding better cancer cures," said Beryl Chernov, ICRF National Executive Director. "The partnership between ICRF and City of Hope has the potential to yield breakthrough research while also exposing the outstanding work that is being conducted by Israel’s scientists at all the major institutions in Israel. This special collaboration enables Israeli researchers to be internationally competitive in a community of the most innovative and cutting-edge cancer scientists," he added.

Team ICRF Sprinting to NYC Half Marathon Finish Line

Team ICRF, a small and mighty group of ten runners, will join the NYC United Airlines Half Marathon as an official Charity Partner on March 20. The group will be running for a cure with each participant committed to raising a minimum of $1,800. The official team goal of $25,000 has already been surpassed, hitting the $36,000 mark, with donations still coming in.

Behind this initiative is Alan Herman, New York Executive Director of ICRF, who said, "Running as part of Team ICRF is such a meaningful personal experience for me. This is an incredible opportunity to teach my daughter, by example, our responsibility to repay the kindness we received from so many people during my cancer journey. I am trying to personally raise money for my run that will be used to fund research that will ultimately help someone else who has been affected by cancer." Herman isn’t stopping at the Half Marathon finish line. He has already submitted an application for ICRF to become a Charity Partner of the November 2022 NYC Marathon as well as other premier running and cycling events.

The dedicated runners have joined this fundraising effort for a myriad of reasons, including: "I am running in memory of my father who died of brain cancer," "I am a three-year breast cancer survivor," "I lost a very close friend from cancer," "I am a strong believer in the ICRF mission."

Zach Bloomgarden, who is running alongside his wife, Lauren, added, "I believe in the power of science to better humanity. Israel is the undisputed leader in scientific discoveries and breakthroughs that have, and will continue to have, a positive impact on the world. I am running in honor of my grandparents, Albert and Blanche Willner."
Chapter Events
ICRF Chicago Presents: Couture for a Cure

Save the date for a special fashion show, guest speaker and hors d’oeuvres to raise money for groundbreaking cancer research. Join ICRF Chicago friends and supporters at Neiman Marcus in Northbrook to view the latest spring and summer collections.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Chicago Executive Director, Ally Marks Greenfield,, 312.718.3263. Registration begins next month.
Inaugural ICRF Tri-State Golf Outing

Join Team ICRF on the green for the Inaugural Tri-State Golf Outing, June 28, at GlenArbor Country Club in Bedford Hills, New York.

For more information, please contact Alan Herman, ICRF New York Executive Director, or David Kweskin, ICRF Connecticut Director,  
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