Best wishes to all our friends during this holiday season!
Dear Friends,

November is a time for thanks. We will, hopefully, be safely gathered with vaccinated family and friends celebrating Thanksgiving. On November 30, we will show thanks again on Giving Tuesday. On this global day of giving, we hope that ICRF will be at the very top of your philanthropy and that you will support us generously.

This year, to kick off our end of year giving campaign, we will dedicate Giving Tuesday for a very special project at ICRF - our newly established Grant Writing Workshop. The GWW is an important initiative recommended by our volunteers on the Scientific Review Panel (SRP) to support the next generation of scientists and enhance the quality of proposals received. ICRF invests in Israel’s best and brightest. This is especially true for the newest, young, up-and-coming researchers who will be tomorrow’s hope for curing cancer.

These stars of tomorrow have been at the top of their classes over decades of graduate programs, fellowships, and advanced studies. It probably comes as no surprise, however, that after years of organic chemistry, molecular biology, biomedical engineering, etc. they also need guidance with grant writing.

Our Giving Tuesday goal dedicated to this important project is $18,000. With your help, we can fund the GWW in the course of one day.

Please, on Giving Tuesday, use the following link to give early and generously. Your donation today could lead to tomorrow’s cure.

Beryl P. Chernov, National Executive Director
ICRF Study to Investigate Carcinoid, Pancreatic Cancers
Several different cancer types are featured in November for Cancer Awareness Month. One of them is lung cancer, and you can learn more about a newly-funded ICRF research project on lung cancer in the interview (below) with Professor Joel Yisraeli. Other cancers highlighted in November are carcinoid and pancreatic cancers (see Dubi Fishel Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research below), and one recently funded ICRF researcher is doing work that could possibly lead to insights into both.

Carcinoid cancer is a rare type of tumor that has been called “cancer in slow motion” because symptoms are often not presented until the disease is advanced. Doctors don't know what causes the mutations that can lead to carcinoid tumors, but they do know that carcinoid tumors develop in neuroendocrine cells. Neuroendocrine cells are found in various organs throughout the body. They perform some nerve cell functions and some hormone-producing endocrine cell functions. In adults, carcinoid tumors are most often found in the digestive tract, which includes the pancreas.

While carcinoid tumors are not hereditary, von Hippel Lindau (VHL) syndrome is an inherited disorder, characterized by the abnormal growth of both benign and cancerous tumors and cysts in many parts of the body. VHL syndrome is caused by mutations in the VHL gene, which normally functions to prevent cells from growing and dividing too rapidly or in an uncontrolled way. One of the tumors that VHL syndrome may cause is pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, a cancer that forms within the hormone-producing cells of the pancreas.
Amit Tirosh, MD, the recipient of an ICRF Clinical Research Career Development Award at Chaim Sheba Medical Center, has found that distinct changes in cellular metabolism characterize pancreatic tumors that develop in individuals with VHL syndrome, and he has identified a specific small molecule metabolite that may mediate the effects of the VHL mutation.

Dr. Tirosh believes that this small molecule is a pro-tumor metabolite, which accelerates tumor proliferation and suppresses the immune response to the tumor in pancreatic cancer patients with VHL. His team will test this hypothesis and, if correct, this small molecule may become a potential target for treatment of pancreatic cancers (and possibly other cancers, including carcinoid tumors) in VHL patients.
Attention Israeli Cancer Researchers

Now is the time to apply for an ICRF grant!

The deadline is December 31, 2021 @ 11:59PM EST
(The deadline for Acceleration Grant LOIs is December 1, 2021)
ICRF Scientist Explores Novel Target Therapy for Lung Cancer
Professor Joel Yisraeli is a long-time grantee of the ICRF. He recently spoke to us about his new ICRF Project Grant focusing on targeted therapy for lung cancer. 

As November is Lung Cancer Research Awareness month, we wanted to reach out to you to hear about your current research being funded by ICRF. Can you briefly describe what you are working on?
We have found a molecule that inhibits Igf2bp1, an RNA binding protein associated with many kinds of cancers, and represses the cancer phenotype of lung carcinoma cells. Under the auspices of the work funded by ICRF, we will enhance and calibrate the molecule in mouse models in order to develop a novel targeted therapy for lung and other cancers. 
It's been wonderful working with the ICRF. This is a story that's
taken a number of years to develop, but we're excited about
pushing it forward now.

Professor Joel Yisraeli
Lung Cancer Statistics

  • Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women. For men, prostate cancer is more common while in women, breast cancer is more prevalent.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 235,760 new cases of lung cancer in 2021 and 131,880 deaths. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of death among men and women, comprising close to 25 percent of all cancer deaths.
  • Lung cancer mainly occurs in people 65 and older.
  • The number of new lung cancer cases continues to decline because people are smoking less and detection and treatment have improved. 
  • Statistics on survival of people with lung cancer depend on the stage of the cancer when diagnosed.
  • Treatment may include surgery, including minimally invasive procedures, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and clinical trials.  
Source: American Cancer Society
Dubi Fishel Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research Announces 2021 Campaign

The Dubi Fishel Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research was established in 2020 to honor the memory of ICRF Board Member, Dubi Fishel, who lost his battle with cancer on Yom Kippur last year.

The fund supports the research of ICRF grantee Dr. Lina Jaber of Hebrew University who is investigating early detection of pancreatic cancer. Last year, the fund reached its fundraising goal of $33,000, covering the first year of Professor Jaber’s three-year grant. On November 1, the campaign will be launched again to raise $33,000 for the second year of the grant. The campaign, which is chaired by family and friends, will run until December 31, 2021.

A beloved member of the Chicago community, Fishel was born in Tel Aviv. He served in the Israel Defense Forces and was active in the Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War, and the Lebanon War. He was no stranger to fighting battles.

Fishel’s final mission was to share his journey with pancreatic cancer and generate support for ICRF's mission to fund cutting-edge cancer research in Israel.

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. It is estimated that more than 48,000 people will die from pancreatic cancer this year. It is the third leading cause of cancer death in both men and women and there is currently no standard diagnostic tool or established early detection method yet available for pancreatic cancer in the general population. Help support Dr. Jaber’s important research through the Dubi Fishel Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
Chapter Events
Toronto Gears Up for Bike for the Fight
The 9th Annual Bike for the Fight will push new limits in the fight against cancer with a day of Zoom workout classes. Register online or contact Jennifer Ouaknine, Tel. (416) 480-9138.
Montreal Chapter Focuses on Self Care, Compassion at Women of Action Event
Save the date for Montreal’s 16th Annual Women of Action virtual luncheon featuring Gabby Bernstein, The New York Times best-selling author, coach and podcast host. This year's event honors two outstanding women in the categories of Business and Science: Lynne Goldberg, Breethe App, Lead Meditation Teacher & Co-Founder, and Morag Park, PhD, Professor in the Department of Oncology, Biochemistry and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University. Register today.
News Roundup