Capping off another successful fundraising season in 2021, Expect Miracles Foundation made a gift of $1.1 million in support of the Robert and Renée Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science at Dana-Farber. Expect Miracles Foundation has supported Dana-Farber for more than 27 years—in that time, their cumulative giving has surpassed an incredible $11 million.
As in years past, the funds were raised through their many high-profile events, including three large golf tournaments held throughout the year and across the country: the West Coast Classic at the Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach, Calif.; the East Coast Classic at the Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth, Mass.; and the Atlantic Coast Classic at the Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, N.J. The three events impressively drew around 600 golfers in total and were held in person, following state guidelines.
Support from the foundation will help advance groundbreaking research at the Belfer Center. Research currently underway at the Center includes a collaborative project with Dana-Farber’s Rizwan Romee, MD, a leading expert in therapeutics that leverage natural killer (NK) cells—a deadly but short-lived immune attacker. Romee previously discovered that NK cells could be coaxed into lengthening their immunological “memory” to boost the immune response. Now, alongside the Belfer Center’s ImmunoOncology Group, Romee is exploring additional ways to further boost the efficacy of NK cell therapies.
Additionally, Joyce Liu, MD, MPH, director of clinical research in Dana-Farber’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology, and Ursula Matulonis, MD, chief of that division and the Brock-Wilson Family Chair at Dana-Farber, are working to create effective new therapies for patients with recurrent or metastatic endometrial cancer. Using organoids—living models of tumors rapidly grown from patients’ cells—developed at the Belfer Center, Liu and Matulonis aim to determine how these tumors respond to specific drugs or combination therapies, providing hope for patients with limited treatment options.
“Belfer Center scientists tackle some of the most critical issues in cancer today,” said Pasi Jänne, MD, PhD, director of the Belfer Center and of the Carole M. and Philip L. Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology and the Chen-Huang Center for EGFR Mutant Lung Cancers. “Thanks to Expect Miracles Foundation’s ongoing partnership, our team continues to identify strategies that are revolutionizing the way we detect and treat cancer, which makes a meaningful difference to patients around the world.”
“Expect Miracles Foundation’s partnership with the Belfer Center and Dana-Farber continues to help us in accomplishing our central mission: to provide hope in the face of cancer,” said Frank Strauss, chairman of Expect Miracles Foundation. “As always, we’re honored to be able to partner together in pursuit of that promise—investment in today’s research makes tomorrow’s miracles.”