Damon Runyon Blog

September 6, 2017

We recently ended our 2017 Fiscal Year. It was an exceptional year in many respects, especially as it was our 70th Anniversary. We celebrated this milestone at our annual breakfast benefit by recognizing the scientists who have gotten us to a point in time where progress in cancer research is accelerating rapidly and more new therapies are being approved for patients.


Click here to see our report on our progress over the past 70 years. It highlights Damon Runyon scientists who:​


  • Are unraveling the complexities of the human cell

  • Seeking cancer's Achilles' Heels

  • Developing revolutionary technologies to accelerate progress

  • And, most importantly, saving lives

  • Our breakfast featured a talk by a survivor of Stage 4 Melanoma, who was cured by a former Damon Runyon scientist using a breakthrough immunotherapy.  Click here to hear his story.  Two current Damon Runyon Scientists spoke about their research, one focused on targeting genetic drivers of lung cancer and the other working on CAR T cell therapies for glioblastoma.  Their passion for their work was palpable. You can hear their presentations here and here.


    We view our 70th anniversary not so much as a time to look back, but as a time of great excitement about the future. Just last month, a new targeted therapy for acute myeloid leukemia was approved by the FDA. Not only were Damon Runyon scientists central to the research that led to this drug, but the time from discovery of the target to FDA approval was just 9 years. That is very fast – but our goal is get even faster.


    We are also seeing incredible progress in cancer immunotherapy. We funded researchers in immunology research throughout our 70-year history, during the time that most researchers and pharmaceutical companies said immunotherapy would never work. Damon Runyon scientists never gave up and are now leaders in this exciting field.


    From this year alone, we posted the following discoveries from Damon Runyon scientists in the New Discoveries section of our website. It shows the range of research fostered by Damon Runyon by recruiting and investing in the most promising talent in cancer research.  Here are the headlines:



    An impressive 70th Anniversary year.  Our goal is to go out of business well before the next.  By continuing to support brilliant scientists, and with your help, I am confident we will.


    Lorraine Egan

    President and CEO

    Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation