Fight Thymic and Lung Cancer

This campaign ended on December 31, 2019, but you can still make a gift to Georgetown University by clicking here!

$50,000 Matching Gift from the Family of Sandy Daulton

Sandy was the most positive, kind and thoughtful person her family, friends and acquaintances knew. Her smile and positive attitude were contagious. She raised her two children as a single mom, while working to provide for the family on her own. She was a distance runner who never smoked, and rarely drank. Sandy became symptomatic in mid-2014 at age 54 when she struggled to finish a 10 mile race. Her thymic carcinoma was diagnosed in early 2015 and she passed away in early 2017, but not before a valiant fight. She endured surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, as well as gamma knife surgery. When all treatment options were exhausted in early 2016, she met with Dr. Giuseppe Giaccone at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and entered a clinical trial for thymic carcinoma patients. While she eventually lost her battle, her participation in the trial contributed information to help the trial move forward for the benefit of other cancer patients. Throughout all that she endured, Sandy remained very positive until the end and won the hearts of literally all who treated her.

Cancer research offers much needed hope for current and future patients battling cancer, yet government funding for it continues to decrease. We need your help to fund the critical research Dr. Giaccone, physician scientist and his lab are working tirelessly on.

Immunotherapy has made a major impact in the treatment of several tumor types, including lung cancer and thymic carcinomas. However, only a minority of patients actually responds well to these novel therapies. In my lab we have been studying the mechanisms that enable drugs to be effective in patients, and mechanisms of resistance to drugs that ensue with treatment. We are now developing strategies to select patients for these novel immunotherapies, by sequencing the DNA of the tumors and the immune cells. 

Thanks to generous supporters in 2018, the Sandy Daulton Memorial Fund raised over $125,000 in its first year, surpassing our goal by a wide margin! 100% of these funds support thymic carcinoma research by Dr. Giuseppe Giaccone at Georgetown University. 

Dr. Giaccone led the immunotherapy clinical trial that Sandy participated in 2016. It is now the new standard of care for thymic carcinomas.  Thymic carcinoma is a little-known cancer and receives no research dollars from the US government or large corporate donors.  It is donations like yours that makes research possible. 

In the lab, Dr. Giaccone and his team continue to do important and break-through work focused on treating the trigger point for how thymomas come to exist in the first place. His team identified that the GTF2l mutation is an important factor in the development of thymomas.  This year his team will advance to working with mouse models to demonstrate how this mutation causes tumors to develop. The goal is to develop therapies that target this mutation. 

Dr. Giaccone has also opened a new Phase II clinical trial for another drug with a novel mechanism of action for patients with advanced thymic carcinoma and thymomas.  This study is ongoing and accepting patients at Georgetown as well as cancer centers in Europe.  We should have the first results from these studies soon.

Breakthroughs don't happen every day, but because of you, Dr. Giaccone and his team have the support they need to continue to push forward for improved treatments, and hopefully, a cure.  

On behalf of the patients and families who will have more time with one another because of this newly-approved course of treatment, we send you a very heartfelt "Thank You!"

If you would like to support Dr. Giaccone's research, your donations will again be matched dollar for dollar to a $50,000 maximum.

100% of donations will directly support Dr. Giaccone's research.

Questions? Contact Meg Lyons | Assistant Director of Development | 202-687-3660 Megan.Lyons@georgetown.edu

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