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April 20, 2014

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Press Release

Women’s Cancer Center Foundation Seeks Funding for Innovative Ovarian Cancer Study

Published on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 (12:52 p.m.)

LAS VEGAS (July 15, 2013) – The Women’s Cancer Center Foundation for Research, the nonprofit arm of Nevada’s only cancer center specializing exclusively in the treatment and research of gynecologic cancers, announced today the onset of a fundraising campaign for an ovarian cancer study designed to improve outcomes for women diagnosed with one of the deadliest forms of cancer. The fundraising campaign will also support the foundation’s ongoing efforts to provide uninsured and underinsured women with access to life-saving cancer treatment.

The Women’s Cancer Center Foundation for Research hopes to raise $1 million to fund the innovative research project, which will analyze the genetics of women with ovarian cancer. The study will also look at individual cancer cells on a molecular level to determine why some cells remain resistant to various forms of treatment.

Led by world-renowned gynecologic oncologist Dr. Nick Spirtos, medical director of Women’s Cancer Center of Nevada, the research is expected to yield valuable information about the genetic differences in patients who have experienced dramatically different outcomes following identical cancer treatments.

“We want to fully understand why cancer cells are more resistant to treatment in some patients by studying them on a genetic level,” Spirtos said. “We will also study patients who have received successful treatment in an effort to identify genes that may provide us with new and more effective methods of treating this disease.”

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer deaths in America. If diagnosed and treated early, the five-year relative survival rate is above 90 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute. Unfortunately, as a result of the disease’s non-specific symptoms and the lack of early detection tests, only about 15 percent of cases are detected in this early stage. The average five-year relative survival rate is only about 44 percent.

While this research project could provide the medical community with new ways to successfully treat ovarian cancer, the foundation must raise $1 million this year for the cutting-edge equipment, highly skilled medical professionals and other expenses associated with the newly announced study.

While the organization is seeking large corporate donations to fund the research, Women’s Cancer Center is also calling upon community members to support the potentially groundbreaking study by donating to the foundation. People can visit www.owareness.com to download the foundation’s contribution form.

“Every dollar we raise for this project will bring us one step closer to providing women with improved treatment options,” Spirtos said. “Many of us have been affected by ovarian cancer, and we hope this study will ultimately lead to better outcomes for the wives, daughters, mothers and friends who continue to fight this relatively under-researched form of cancer.”

The fundraising campaign will continue throughout the year with various events and opportunities for community support, including the annual Owareness Bowl-O-Thon hosted on Sept. 15 at the South Point Bowling Center in recognition of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The Bowl-O-Thon event is set to feature celebrity guests, patients, community leaders and members of the health care community coming together to raise money for local ovarian cancer research and treatment. Online registration for the event is available at www.owareness.com.

The foundation is currently accepting sponsorships for this year’s event, which is expected to attract more than 200 attendees.

In recent years, the Women’s Cancer Center Foundation for Research has made a significant impact on the community by providing grants to researchers, sponsoring a continuing medical education course for gynecologic oncologists and offering a number of other valuable opportunities for doctors and patients alike.

About Women’s Cancer Center Foundation for Research
The Women’s Cancer Center Foundation for Research is dedicated to advancing the treatment and prevention of cancer. Funds raised by the foundation provide grants to researchers of gynecologic cancers and educational materials for patients. Women’s Cancer Center Foundation donations fund the Cash for Chemotherapy program, which provides treatment for uninsured and underinsured cancer patients in Southern Nevada.

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