The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, is pleased to announce the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund has awarded nearly $8 million since its 2015 inception. The fund has awarded 23 grants at 17 cancer centers nationwide to support research dedicated to the aggressiveness, therapeutic responsiveness and ultimate outcomes experienced by cancer patients from diverse ethnic populations, as well as supporting researchers from minority populations.
“Understanding and helping to remedy cancer disparities is an important priority at the V Foundation,” said Susan Braun, CEO of the V Foundation. “We’re honored to fund important projects in memory of our dear friend Stuart Scott.”
The V Foundation, through the Stuart Scott Fund, recently awarded a Translational Grant to Yanis Boumber, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, for his work with lung cancer. A Translational Grant is a $600,000 grant over three years that supports bench to bedside research. For some lung cancers, African Americans may have a more aggressive disease than those of European descent. Boumber’s research will explore using a combination of therapies to improve survival rates, and he will try to determine which patients are the best candidates for immunotherapy combination therapy. Boumber will investigate tumor tissue and blood-based biomarkers for all lung cancer patients enrolled in the investigator-initiated, multi-center immunotherapy combination study, led by Fox Chase, which was developed in collaboration with Dr. Hossein Borghaei and Dr. Kerry Campbell. At least 25% of the enrolled patients in Boumber’s trial will be African Americans. His research may show great promise in helping lung cancer patients and especially those minority patients so disproportionately affected by certain cancers.
“I am grateful to the V Foundation for its support of this important work,” Boumber said. “Our research is aimed at creating a better understanding of the biologic basis for the disparities in lung cancer between ethnic groups by developing new biomarkers that demonstrate why certain ethnicities have better and worse therapeutic responses.”
The Stuart Scott Fund was launched in January 2015 in loving remembrance of the longtime V Foundation friend and ESPN anchor. Even near the end of his life, Scott was a champion for cancer research and was involved in a clinical trial himself. He was a passionate voice for improving outcomes for African Americans and other minorities with cancer. At the 2014 ESPY Awards, he was awarded the Jimmy V Perseverance Award for epitomizing Valvano’s message, “Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”®. While giving his speech at the ESPYS, Scott added these words that help thousands in their fight against cancer: “Live and fight like hell, and when you get too tired to fight … let someone else fight for you.”
“Sydni and I are very enthusiastic about the outcomes from the funds raised and grants given in honor of our dad. His fight has become our inspiration as we continue to see families all around us, just like ours, continuing to be traumatized by this disease,” said Taelor Scott, Stuart Scott’s daughter. “Through the hard work and guidance of the V Foundation and the dedication of researchers, we remain encouraged that healthcare disparities that disproportionately harm vulnerable communities will hold a spot of importance until we find a cure. We are very grateful for the commitment to bringing awareness and resources to this critical issue in the name of our father. We remain grateful to the V Foundation for their leadership in this arena.”
For more information about the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund or to donate, please visit www.jimmyv.org/stuartscott.