Damon Runyon News

February 15, 2019

The success of CAR T (short for chimeric antigen receptor T) therapies, which essentially engineer a patient’s immune T cells to attack cancer cells, has been transformative in people with otherwise terminal blood cancers. However, many patients relapse, and CAR T therapy has not worked with solid tumors. Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Christopher A. Klebanoff, MD, and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have discovered that the patient’s tumor may be sending a self-destruct signal, killing the CAR T cells. The researchers devised a way to cloak the cancer-fighting cells, so they survive to successfully attack the tumor.

February 6, 2019

Registration is now open for the 11th Annual Runyon 5K, which will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at Yankee Stadium. 100% of donations raised will directly support bold and innovative scientists funded by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.  Since the inaugural event in 2009, thousands of Runyon 5K participants have helped raise more than $5.2 million for breakthrough cancer research.

February 6, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in August 2018 that, for the first time, the incidence of head and neck cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) surpassed that of cervical cancer in the United States. 

February 1, 2019

By Yung S. Lie, PhD,  President and CEO of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

As recent headlines have declared, we have much to celebrate on World Cancer Day: the cancer death rate in the United States has fallen 27% from its peak in 1991. Many factors have contributed to this including the decrease in smoking and improved screening efforts. Tremendous advances in research and technology have been critical to this progress. Our ability to understand the genetic basis of cancer has rapidly accelerated over the last ten years, and now scientists are decoding cancer on an unprecedented scale. This has resulted in more effective precision medicine approaches, treating patients with the therapies to which their cancers are most likely to respond.

January 31, 2019

When our Fellowship Award Committee selected Yung as a Damon Runyon Fellow in 2000, little did they know that they were picking its future CEO. She will be the first scientist and alumna to lead the organization since it was founded in 1946.

January 29, 2019

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on supporting innovative, early career researchers, named 18 new Damon Runyon Fellows at its fall Fellowship Award Committee review. The recipients of this prestigious, four-year award are outstanding postdoctoral scientists conducting basic and translational cancer research in the laboratories of leading senior investigators across the country. The Fellowship encourages the nation's most promising young scientists to pursue careers in cancer research by providing them with independent funding ($231,000 total) to work on innovative projects.

The Committee also named six new recipients of the Damon Runyon-Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists. This award provides additional funding to scientists completing a Damon Runyon Fellowship Award who have greatly exceeded Damon Runyon’s highest expectations and are most likely to make paradigm-shifting breakthroughs that transform the way we prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Each awardee will receive $100,000 to be used toward their research.

January 24, 2019

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation announced that nine scientists with novel approaches to fighting cancer have been named 2019 recipients of the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award. Initial grants of $400,000 over two years were awarded to five early career scientists whose projects have the potential to significantly impact the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Each awardee will have the opportunity for up to two additional years of funding (four years total for $800,000). In addition, continued “Stage 2” support was granted to four awardees, who demonstrated significant progress on their proposed research during the first two years of the award. This year, the Foundation increased the award by 33% from $150,000 to $200,000 annually.

January 24, 2019

Former Damon Runyon Fellow Gregory J. Hannon, PhD, and colleagues at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, have developed a new interactive, virtual reality 3D model of breast cancer.  A human tissue sample about the size of a pinhead was used to create the model, which can be magnified to appear several meters across, providing researchers an inside view of how breast cancer cells interact with surrounding healthy tissue. 

January 15, 2019

In 2018, William Raveis Real Estate raised an incredible $552,000 for cancer research. They have been a staunch supporter of Damon Runyon, nhosting several multi-state fundraising events. At the annual Raveis Ride + Walk, held September 30, 2018, at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, Connecticut, Christy Jefremow bravely shared her story. 

January 10, 2019

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation increases Junior Faculty Grants by 33%. Effective in 2019, the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation and Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Awards will be increased by 33% for new and current scientists. This investment allows the next generation of elite scientists to conduct work that will lay the foundation for careers filled with untold discoveries that are critical to finding new treatments and cures for patients.