of the Darden School
and William H. Goodwin Jr.
give $3.9 million to speed cancer research
cancer researchers have received $3.9 million to accelerate clinical
trials on a promising vaccine for melanoma, a dangerous form of
skin cancer with limited treatment options. The gift, made by
long-time U.Va. benefactors Alice and William H. Goodwin Jr.,
of Richmond, also will support the development of new vaccines
for lung, ovarian, breast and colon cancer.
Cancer Center is breaking ground on a daily basis, said
John T. Casteen III. The Goodwins generous commitment
will speed clinical trials of new cancer vaccines by giving researchers
access to eligible patients more quickly, and therefore allow
more rapid collection of information about how the vaccines are
vaccines work by teaching the bodys immune system to identify
and destroy cancer cells. In 1994, the U.Va. research team
headed by melanoma specialist Dr. Craig Slingluff, along with
immunologist Victor Engelhard and chemist Donald Hunt developed
technology that identified a molecular cancer marker, or peptide,
that appears on the tumorous cells of many melanoma patients.
This discovery gave the team a target on which to focus the development
of a vaccine.
1994, the team has discovered six more peptides that are characteristic
of melanoma, plus one peptide characteristic of lung cancer cells.
Clinical trials of the U.Va. melanoma vaccine are being conducted
at U.Va., Duke University, the University of Pittsburgh and clinical
centers in Europe and Australia.
The Goodwins gift will allow researchers to extend the vaccine
trials to other academic medical centers.
collaboration will bring great minds together, which can only
speed our progress toward a cure for melanoma, Slingluff
said. This gift will allow us to evaluate several different
vaccine preparations that are more complex than any weve
used so far, so that we can determine which combinations work
gift will be used to equip research laboratories and to provide
the high-quality materials used to manufacture the vaccines. A
search for a medical oncologist to help manage the trials will
begin immediately, followed by recruitment efforts for additional
clinical support staff and two basic science researchers, according
to Michael Weber, director of the U.Va. Cancer Center.
are glad our gift will help U.Va. advance new cures for cancer,
as Alice and I have decided to significantly support research
for new cures for cancer over the next seven to 10 years,
said Goodwin, a member of the Universitys Board of Visitors
since 1996 and a 1966 graduate of the Darden
School. We believe doctors Slingluff, Engelhard and
Hunt and their staff are outstanding, and we are thankful that
we are able to support their efforts at the U.Va. Cancer Center.
most people, we have seen firsthand the tragic consequences of
cancer. We want to do what we can to safeguard future generations
against this devastating killer.
effective strategies to fight cancer is the goal of all involved.
We are glad that we can help, Alice Goodwin said.
Goodwins are known for their philanthropy, supporting cancer research,
education and religion. They have given generously to U.Va. in
the past, including more than $25 million to the Darden School.