Grants



Ann's Hope Grants

2016

$75,000 to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Dr. Li Lilly Wang,effectiveness of a combination of two therapies as a possible treatment for melanoma.

$75,000 to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI
Dr. Mark Albertini, Melanoma Clinical Trial

2015

$75,000 to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Dr. Wiguo Cui, A multi-prolonged Immunitherapy to Fight Melanoma

2014

$75,000 to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Dr. Samuel T. Hwang, Improving Immunotherapy for Melanoma

$75,000 to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI
Dr. Mark Albertini, Melanoma Clinical Trial

2013

$75,000 to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI
Dr. Mark Albertini, Melanoma Clinical Trial

$75,000 to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Dr. Samuel T. Hwang, Improving Immunotherapy for Melanoma

2012

$75,000 to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI
Dr. Mark Albertini, Melanoma Clinical Trial

$75,000 to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Dr. Samuel T. Hwang, Improving Immunotherapy for Melanoma

2011

$50,000 to University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI
Dr. Mark Albertini, Melanoma Clinical Trial

$50,000 to Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI?Y-TIL Immunotherapy Clinical Trial

2010

$125,000 to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI?Dr. Mark Albertini, Melanoma Clinical Trial

$75,000 to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI?Dr. Samuel T. Hwang, Improving Immunotherapy for Melanoma

$70,000 to Aurora St. Lukes Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI?Dr. Jonathan Treisman, Y-TIL Immunotherapy Clinic Trial

2009

$75,000 to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI?Dr. Mark Albertini, Melanoma Clinical Trial

$50,000 to Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI?Dr. Jonathan Treisman, Y-TIL Immunotherapy Clinical Trial

2008

$50,000 to Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI?Dr. Jonathan Treisman, Y-TIL Immunotherapy Clinical Trial

$75,000 to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI?Dr. Mark Albertini, Melanoma Clinical Trial

$2,500 to The National Melanoma Aliance

2007

$75,000 to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI?Dr. Mark Albertini, Melanoma Clinical Trial

$2,500 to The National Melanoma Alliance

2006

$15,000 to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwwaukee, WI
Dr. Vinod Shidham, Melanoma Cocktail Biopsy Research
$50,000 to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI?Dr. Vinod Shidham, Melanoma Cocktail Biopsy Research

2005

$35,000 to the American Cancer Society?Dr. Stephen Murray, Melanoma Research

To date, Ann’s Hope Foundation is proud to have given more than $1 million in research grants.?

Click to read messages to our generous donors from Dr. Mark Albertini and Dr. Samuel T. Hwang, who continue to advance their research to improve the outcomes of patients with melanoma.

Dear Friends of Ann’s Hope:

Thank you for your support of Ann’s Hope and for your support of melanoma research studies in my laboratory at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC).  Our laboratory studies have the long-range goal of improving outcomes of patients with melanoma. I am pleased to report that exciting progress is being made, and I would like to summarize for you the goals of the research that you are supporting.

While melanoma is usually incurable once it spreads to distant sites, several laboratory insights about melanoma are changing clinical practice.  One insight is the understanding that special cells of the immune system called “T cells” can “recognize” melanoma. This insight led to the discovery of immune treatments called “checkpoint inhibitors” to “release the brakes” of T cells, thus unleashing T cells to attack melanoma cells and produce durable tumor regression in about 10-20% of patients with advanced melanoma. These durable tumor regressions provide hope for patients with advanced melanoma, and two of these checkpoint inhibitors are now approved for use in the clinic (Ipilimumab and Pembrolizumab).  While these treatments are helping some advanced melanoma patients, side effects can be severe and can limit treatment for other patients.  In addition, long-lasting tumor regressions are only achieved in a minority of melanoma patients who receive these treatments. It is thought that patients with a smouldering initial T cell response against melanoma are more likely to benefit from checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Thus, predictive tests called “biomarkers” are needed to identify the melanoma patients who are most likely to benefit from these treatments.  The funds provided by Ann’s Hope are being used in our laboratory studies to identify a biomarker to determine which melanoma patients will most likely benefit from treatment with checkpoint inhibitors.  Once identified, we would plan to subsequently use this biomarker to monitor combination immune treatments that have a goal of increasing the number of melanoma patients who benefit from therapy.

There is a real possibility for major advances in the future, as significant new scientific insights are now present that are very relevant to melanoma patients.  However, there is a critical need for physician-scientists to work at the “interface” where medicine and theoretical science meet to realize this possibility.  The imperative is to take theories and concepts from the laboratory benchtop to the patient’s bedside.  The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) has a worldwide reputation for basic science research.  The UWCCC is the only comprehensive cancer center in the state of Wisconsin as well as one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute.  The UWCCC has a worldwide reputation for innovative cancer research and treatment and provides leading discoveries for the people of Wisconsin and nationwide. The UWCCC Melanoma Disease Oriented Working Group has a goal of enhancing melanoma research activities at the UWCCC.  My melanoma research program involves clinical and laboratory efforts dedicated to the understanding and treatment of human malignant melanoma.  The priority for this research involves innovative translational research to understand the immunology and immunotherapy of human malignant melanoma with a goal of improving treatment and diagnostic approaches for melanoma patients.

In closing, I would like to let you know that I am both humbled and challenged by your continued generous support. I thank you for the trust that you have for me to make the best possible use of your support.  I look forward to identifying a time when we can meet in person to discuss these exciting research findings, and I would be glad to provide you with a detailed summary of our research findings.  I would also look forward to arranging a tour of my melanoma research lab for Ann’s Hope if it can work for you to visit us in Madison.  I am hopeful that the projects that we pursue with your support will make a meaningful difference and improve the lives of patients with melanoma.  Thank you for your commitment and loyal support of our melanoma research efforts.

With appreciation and season’s greetings for each of you,

Mark Albertini, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, UW Melanoma Disease-Oriented Working Group
UW Carbone Cancer Center

Dear Friends of Ann’s Hope Foundation,

 Thanks to donations from Ann’s Hope Foundation, researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Cancer Center are developing strategies to stop the spread, or metastasis, of melanoma.  At the center of this research is a discovery that was made in the laboratory of MCW researcher Sam T. Hwang, MD, PhD, Chairman and the Thomas J. Russell Family/Milwaukee Community Dermatologists Professor in Dermatology, in collaboration with Dr. Brian Volkman, Professor of Biochemistry.

 Dr. Hwang’s team found that a specific cellular protein, a “chemokine receptor” named CXCR4, plays an important role in the metastasis of melanoma tumors, and that blocking this receptor (preventing it from working) may reduce the spread of melanoma. The researchers then developed a new molecule – a protein called “SDF-1 dimer” – that is capable of blocking the activity of CXCR4. They now are exploring the possibility that the SDF-1 dimer, in combination with agents already known to slow the growth of melanoma cells, can reduce the growth even further. This research will provide valuable preliminary data that is needed to seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin using SDF-1 dimer either alone or in combination with other FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of patients with uncontrolled metastatic melanoma.

The road to stopping melanoma is a journey of many steps, but MCW researchers continue to make progress and move closer to this goal.  These advances would not be possible without the dedication and support of Ann’s Hope Foundation and the organization’s many devoted volunteers.

Sincerely,

Samuel T. Hwang, MD, PhD
Professor
Thomas J. Russell Family/Milwaukee Community Dermatologists Chair of Dermatology


The most common types of skin cancer are:

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Melanoma

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