In May 2020 I plan to bike for up to 30 miles in my 12th Virtual Maryland Half Marathon to support the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (while my knee does some more healing). As you may know, I try to do this as a way to honor the many patients and families who I have had the privilege to know and help care for during my last 23 years as a member of the Cancer Center faculty. In reality, it is they who have accepted and completed the most challenging courses (of treatment, transplant, recovery) - often uphill, and in the "rain, sleet, and snow".
As before, your generous support of my participation will go toward strengthening the patient care programs and cutting-edge research of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) - designated Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. In recent years we saw remarkable advances in the treatment of blood cancers including the first demonstration that genetic modification of T-cells / immune cells taken from patients with very advanced and resistant forms of blood cancers could result in complete and durable remissions. Thanks in part to your support over the last 12 years, the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center has been at the forefront of this exciting work.
In addition, thanks to philanthropic gifts from the grateful families of our patients, we are pleased to announce that we have built and operationalized our new FACT (Fannie Angelos Cell Therapeutics) laboratory (called a "GMP" lab) to support the production of immune cells, stem cells and vaccines for the treatment of cancer and degenerative diseases. We are also using Your gift will also help to support the further development and operation of this facility. We are also one of the select centers in the US to be qualified to offer personalized “CAR-T” cellular immunotherapy to patients with aggressive lymphoma and leukemia and the busiest center in the Maryland-Delaware-Virginia region, having treated 100 patients with CAR-T or other types of engineered immune cells.
I have no doubt that we are on the cusp of other important discoveries and developments in this field of "cellular immunotherapy" which will have wide-ranging impact on the treatment of many forms of cancer. Thanks again for your ongoing support of our mission.
Click the link below to see my story that aired on WJZ-13 on May 15, 2020.
Aaron Rapoport, M.D.
My Personal Web Log