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Cancer Research First Year Challenge Goal Met Thank you!

The Herrick Cancer Research Challenge began October 1, 2009 and at the end of June, 915 donors have contributed more than $539,000 to meet the first year’s match requirement of raising $500,000. 
As part of a $3 million dollar commitment, the Herrick Foundation in 2009 awarded Karmanos a $1 million grant to launch several research projects. The foundation also committed an additional $2 million for a fundraising challenge over four years. Karmanos must raise $500,000 in research contributions each year to receive the one-to-one match dollars.
“It is our goal to be among the top 10 cancer centers in the country by continuing the development of next-generation cancer treatment standards through research; reducing cancer care disparities; and facilitating patient access to state-of-the-science cancer care,” said Gerold Bepler, Ph.D., M.D., president and CEO of Karmanos. “We appreciate all the assistance that we have received so far from our donors. Your contributions will help us realize our goal.”
Research Spotlight – Lung Cancer

Dr. Shirish Gadgeel

Money donated by the Herrick Foundation and donors like you are already benefitting worthwhile projects at Karmanos. Approximately $300,000 of Herrick funds has assisted the Lung Cancer Working Group in establishing the Herrick Registry, a new lung cancer database. That registry will utilize Karmanos lung cancer patients’ saliva, tissue samples and blood to help Karmanos doctors not only more effectively diagnose and treat those with the disease that claims more men’s and women’s lives than any other cancer but also conduct more effective research in lung cancer.
Other cancer centers have established lung cancer databases like the Herrick Registry, but Shirish Gadgeel, M.D., leader of the thoracic oncology multidisciplinary team and associate professor of Internal Medicine at Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine, says he and his colleagues are in a unique position with the new registry. By virtue of the very diverse patient base that the thoracic oncology team cares for, data drawn from those patients will lead to advances in research and treatments that will benefit the entire population.
“We are privileged to treat a really diverse group of patients,” he said. “We are just beginning to realize that certain demographics reveal different types of tumor biology makeup. The Herrick Registry established in our center will be a very valuable research tool.
“Our hope is that this registry information will help to define which patients are at risk for developing lung cancer and for lung cancer progression; which patients are likely not to benefit from chemotherapy; and what markers in the tumor, blood or saliva correlate with the patient’s disease characteristics and outcome.”
The registry began accepting samples July 1 and is administered by a research nurse, Laura Mantha, who was newly hired for the position. Mantha has been with KCI for more than two decades and previously worked with the Thoracic Oncology Multidisciplinary Team.
Dr. Gadgeel said the compilation and study of samples will have an almost immediate implication on the Lung Cancer Working Group’s research. Registry information will be applied to additional grant-funded research projects.
“This will lead us to long-term research projects and allow us to obtain additional grant monies,” he said. “Without the Herrick Foundation grant, we would not be able to create this database.”
For that reason, Dr. Gadgeel, Michele Cote, Ph.D., co-leader of the Lung Cancer Working Group and assistant professor of Epidemiology at Karmanos and Wayne State University School of Medicine, and their colleagues are grateful for the Herrick Foundation grant. “The Lung Cancer Working Group is really working hard on lung cancer research,” Dr. Gadgeel said “The timing of this grant could not be better. We value how precious these grant dollars are.”
Make a contribution to the Herrick Challenge. Visit or call Debbie Fellberg at 313-576-8102. If you would like more information about participating in the research project, call Laura Mantha at 313-576-8401 or e-mail her at
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The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center is accredited by The Joint Commission.
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