Damon Runyon Blog

January 27, 2017

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF Dr. Amit Sabnis treats pediatric hematology and oncology patients“The highs are much higher than the lows,” he said.  His training in pediatric oncology has taught him how to help  patients and their families find hope, make plans for the future and live the best life they can.  “Many times that involves a period of hard treatment and then a cure,” he said.


Thanks to support from the Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellowship, Amit is not only caring for his patients in the clinic but also developing better treatments for them in the lab.  He is researching metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a rare muscle cancer that affects children.  Treatment for advanced RMS has not advanced in decades.


January 27, 2017

Peter Van Camp and his wife Laura Grant Van Camp are supporters of the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award program through the Nadia’s Gift Foundation.  Peter also serves on the Damon Runyon Board of Directors, Scientific Committee and the Bay Area Committee.


Peter and Laura Van Camp believe Damon Runyon’s targeted strategy of supporting the best young scientists tackling innovative cancer research is a perfect match for the Bay Area.  A tech leader himself, Peter equates the Damon Runyon approach with Silicon Valley’s ethos of investing in innovators creating disruptive business models. “Their elite scientific board focused on funding top minds doing high risk-high reward research, coupled with a donor’s ability to develop a personal relationship with scientists they support, makes Damon Runyon unique,” Peter said.  Laura finds it compelling to “come in on the ground floor and see the impact their giving makes in real time.”   


January 27, 2017

By Arvin C. Dar, PhD, Damon Runyon Innovator, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation recently asked some of our current award recipients how cancer will be prevented, diagnosed, and/or treated differently in the future. What can a future cancer patient, say 10-20 years from now, expect to experience? Their responses were fascinating, and over the next few months we will share their visions for the future on this blog.


January 24, 2017

By Giada Bianchi, MD, Damon Runyon-Celgene Physician-Scientist


The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation recently asked some of our current award recipients how cancer will be prevented, diagnosed, and/or treated differently in the future. What can a future cancer patient, say 10-20 years from now, expect to experience? Their responses were fascinating, and over the next few months we will share their visions for the future on this blog.


January 20, 2017

By Ralph Kleiner, PhD, Damon Runyon - Dale F. Frey Breakthrough Scientist; Assistant Professor, Princeton University


As a chemical biologist, my work is motivated by a desire to understand the natural world. While pursuing basic research may seem far removed from the clinic, fundamental advances in our molecular understanding of biology have transformed our ability to diagnose and treat cancer as well as other diseases. Since scientific progress is often slow and can follow a circuitous path, it is absolutely critical that organizations like Damon Runyon are willing to play the ‘long game’, and invest in early stage and basic research.


January 18, 2017

By Daniel Webster, PhD, Damon Runyon-Philip O’Bryan Montgomery Jr. MD Fellow


The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation recently asked some of our current award recipients how cancer will be prevented, diagnosed, and/or treated differently in the future. What can a future cancer patient, say 10-20 years from now, expect to experience? Their responses were fascinating, and over the next few months we will share their visions for the future on this blog. 


December 21, 2016

By Jean Singer of the Jake Wetchler Foundation


As he battled cancer at age 20, my son Jake Wetchler would often say, “Don’t let the cancer win.”  When he died, his father Jonathan Wetchler and I were determined to keep up the fight. Together we created the Jake Wetchler Foundation to fund innovative approaches to curing pediatric acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). But we didn’t know how to find the best research to support.


December 15, 2016

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation was launched 70 years ago today, with a call over the radio to all Americans.  Damon Runyon, the beloved creator of the Guys & Dolls characters, had died from cancer.  His friend, Walter Winchell, the most famous radio personality of his day, went on air and asked every American to send him their dimes, nickels and pennies to help cure cancer.  They did, and we’ve been making groundbreaking strides against cancer ever since.


November 22, 2016

Damon Runyon staff interviewed Sergei German about his recent cancer journey and the role Damon Runyon scientists played in treating his disease.


Sergei German’s cancer journey started with a bump. More specifically, his wife noticed a small bump on his neck that was ultimately revealed to be follicular lymphoma, an incurable form of cancer.


November 15, 2016

Damon Runyon staff interviewed John Parker, MD, about his daughter Nicole’s cancer journey and the role Damon Runyon scientists played in treating her disease


Nicole Parker’s cancer symptoms began when she was 18 years old during a family ski vacation in Utah, when she complained to her father John, an obstetrician-gynecologist, about excruciating headaches. When the headaches persisted upon returning home to Florida, John took Nicole to a local hospital and had her fully examined. The attending physician ordered a CT scan and MRI.


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