An amazing 2015.

Dec 31, 2015 | News, Research & Innovation

Our sixth year was TargetCancer Foundation’s best ever, as we saw unprecedented growth and research success. We are gearing up for an even bigger 2016, but in the meantime, here’s a look back at at some of our accomplishments from the last year.

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We provided close to $235,000 in rare cancer research grants, far surpassing any previous year’s totals.

Our fifth year of cholangiocarcinoma research funding built upon the progress of previous years, leading to further discoveries and publications. In May, our prior funded research led directly to a new clinical trial, testing an existing, FDA-approved drug against a subset of cholangiocarcinoma patients. We also funded the expenses related to the first eight patients enrolled in that trial.


We also continued our support for an innovative research collaboration studying the use of immunotherapies in esophageal cancer. This has quickly led to a new publication and paved the way for a new clinical trial opening in 2016. On October 19, we held the Think Tank on Advancing Esophageal Cancer Research, an innovative one day meeting that united an international group of experts to collaborate around the identification of effective treatments for esophageal cancer.

One of our first grants in the early days of TargetCancer Foundation established the TargetCancer Foundation Medical Student Research Fund at Harvard Medical School, which provided fellowships to fund the summer studies of students interested in rare cancers. This year, we completed our funding of that program, and in total saw seven students supported at one of the earliest points of their training.


2015 was our biggest year by far for fundraising events. Over the course of the year, six events were held benefitting TargetCancer Foundation in three states. Some, such as our Boston Marathon fundraiser at the Harpoon Brewery, were held by TargetCancer Foundation. But others were held by supporters who were inspired to plan their own events benefitting TargetCancer Foundation. In June, the Lindsay family held the Matt Lindsay Memorial Golf Tournament in Lincoln, NE, raising $19,000 for TargetCancer Foundation.

stepup2Our events ended with A Night to TargetCancer: The 6th Annual TargetCancer Foundation Gala, held on November 19 at Fenway Park in Boston. The event was a major success, attracting 325 guests and raising close to $240,000! In addition, the Boston College and Notre Dame alumni communities rallied around the event, which was two days before the BC/ND Shamrock Series football game at Fenway Park. Those communities created the Fenway Gridiron Fundraising Challenge, raising an additional $10,000 for TargetCancer Foundation.


image1For the first time in 2015, TargetCancer Foundation was awarded numbers to participate in the Boston Marathon, a major milestone and a huge success thanks to our inaugural team of Nicole Garceau and Alexandra Reid, who raised $36,000 in addition to finishing their first marathons. In fact, they did so well that TargetCancer Foundation will not only return for the 2016 marathon, but will also have an expanded team of three runners.

We were also lucky to have an amazing college intern, Alexa Parisi, who created and launched a new series on our blog that will profile those affected by rare cancers, as well as their friends and family members.

For the first time, TargetCancer Foundation also presented its work at national conferences, including the National Organization for Rare Disorders’ (NORD) Rare Diseases and Orphan Products Breakthrough Summit, as well as the Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers Annual Symposium.


We are poised to not only continue this success, but also build upon it and expand our programs and initiatives in the next year. We’re excited to get started, and grateful to all of those who support our mission to fund the most innovative research leading to new and effective treatments for rare cancers.