Goodwins fund new Cancer Center
of the pancreas, head and neck, brain, and lungs are among the
most deadly forms of the disease, and there are currently few
options for treatment. With a new $6 million gift to the U.Va.
Center, medical researchers will accelerate clinical trials
of promising new therapies for these cancers, offering hope to
millions of patients and their families.
contribution from Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Jr. of Richmond
will be provided in annual installments of $750,000 over the next
eight years. It follows a $3.9 million gift made by the Goodwins
last fall to further clinical trials of promising new vaccines
for melanoma and other types of cancer.
and Bill Goodwins continuing investment in the Cancer Center
will bolster its capacity to translate research breakthroughs
in the laboratory into effective treatments at the bedside,
said U.Va. President
John T. Casteen III. The Goodwins new commitment will
allow us to expand clinical trials that build on the discoveries
of our medical scientists and that will be of enormous benefit
to patients from Virginia and beyond.
Cancer Centers Clinical Trials Office currently manages
more than 80 clinical trials involving as many as 300 patients
a year. As the trials become more sophisticated, the office is
nearing capacity, forcing the testing of new therapies to be postponed.
The Goodwins gift will allow the University to hire additional
nurses and other personnel with experience in managing clinical
trials, which will enable U.Va. to expand the number and types
of treatments available to patients.
resources will be tremendously helpful in speeding the movement
of new discoveries into new therapies, said Michael Weber,
director of the Cancer Center.
percent of childhood cancers are now curable through treatments
refined by clinical trials. And clinical trials have led to major
advances in the treatment of melanoma and cancers of the breast,
cervix, uterus, ovary, prostate and bladder. The mission of an
academic medical center is to create leading-edge therapies and
to bring them to our patients. Clinical trials are the only way
this can be done.
a member of U.Va.s Board
of Visitors since 1996 and a 1966 graduate of the Darden School,
is chair of CCA Industries Inc. in Richmond.
Goodwins, among the Darden Schools most generous benefactors
in the Universitys recent fund-raising campaign and known
for their philanthropic endeavors across Virginia, have established
the Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research to foster new
breakthroughs in the battle against the disease. In addition to
their gift to the Cancer Center, the new Foundation also has made
significant gifts to several other prominent cancer centers across
are glad our continuing support will help U.Va. advance new cures
and treatments for cancer, Bill Goodwin said. We have
great faith in the Universitys doctors and researchers and
are proud to help further their work.
effective strategies to fight cancer is the goal of all involved.
We are glad we have the resources to help, said Alice Goodwin.
Goodwins gift will support clinical trials of new
treatments for the following types of cancer:
cancer - Dr. Michael Williams heads a team that will
refine a new regimen of chemotherapy designed to treat the
late State Sen. Emily Couric. The therapy, which helped
Couric live longer than expected, will be tested for safety
cancer - Meningiomas, the most common brain tumors,
are curable surgically when the location and the shape of
the tumor allow complete removal. Tumors that cannot be
completely removed are devastating. Due to what medical
scientists call the blood/brain barrier, chemotherapy is
not an effective treatment for brain cancers. Dr. David
Schiff will work to change the chemistry of an existing
chemotherapy agent so that it bypasses the blood/brain barrier
and, it is hoped, blocks tumor growth and starves the tumor
of the blood flow it needs to survive.
and neck cancers - The standard treatment for head and
neck cancers is a combination of radiation and chemotherapy
given concurrently. However, radiation administered to the
head and neck area is disfiguring and can cause damage to
healthy tissues and to other areas such as the eye, spinal
cord and brain stem. In a new clinical trial headed by Dr.
Christopher Thomas, investigators hope to use new intensity-modulated
radiation therapy to deliver maximum dosages of radiation
to cancerous cells in this area while minimizing damage
to healthy tissue.
cancer - Breast cancer therapy has undergone substantial
improvements in recent years with surgical care moving toward
less invasive methods. Dr. Reid Adams hopes to develop non-invasive
technologies to fight breast cancer. Reviving
and improving upon an existing technology, his research
team will determine if high-energy radio waves can be used
surgically to destroy tumors.
cancer - The chemotherapy agent known as ST1571, or
Gleevec, has gained prominence as a treatment for some forms
of leukemia. Now, to combat lung cancer, U.Va. researchers
led by Dr. Heidi Gillenwater intend to pair Gleevec with
a chemotherapy agent discovered and developed by Sidney
Hecht, U.Va.s John W. Mallet Professor of Chemistry.
The first round of chemotherapy is highly effective in fighting
certain forms of lung cancer, but in subsequent treatments,
cancer cells become less susceptible to the drugs
U.Va. researchers hope to combine the two chemotherapy agents
and modify them so that they continue to destroy cancer
cells effectively as treatments continue.