Early Cancer Detection and Research in Memory of Joan Luft Cohen
One year ago, commemorating the 20th year since Joan died of ovarian cancer, we began a fundraising campaign for the University of Arizona Cancer Center (ACC) early Cancer Detection Research. Our family feels strongly that we want to contribute a needed piece of equipment to the cancer center. Working with the ACC we identified the Digital PCR as the appropriate piece of equipment to honor Joan. Thanks to your generosity and support we have raised over $19,000 toward our goal of $29,000 to purchase a “Digital PCR” (dPCR), equipment that aids in early detection of cancer. The ACC has already begun using the dPCR for research, early detection, diagnosis and treatment evaluation of Cancer Center patients in Tucson and other affiliated agencies around the country.
During a recent visit to the ACC our family met with the Lab Research Director. She is extremely excited about this new equipment and how it helps their research and existing patients. We have included a brief description from the director of how the dPCR is used.
Digital PCR (dPCR) is an established method for the fast and reliable identification of significant cancer-related mutations. It is a precise and cost-effective method for monitoring response and resistance to cancer treatments by testing for relevant cancer-driver and therapy-resistant mutations targeting over 100 common cancer mutations found in breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and colorectal cancer among others. dPCR assays are designed for monitoring resistance and response to therapy in liquid biopsies. Liquid biopsies are increasingly being used in the detection of rare mutations for monitoring disease progression and resistance to therapy. This is a test that is done on a sample of blood to look for fragments of DNA released by tumor cells into the circulation. An advantage of this approach is that liquid biopsy may be used to help find cancer at an early stage. It may also be used to help plan treatment or to find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come back. Being able to take multiple samples of blood over time may also help doctors understand what kind of molecular changes are taking place in a tumor.
We are so grateful to all that have already contributed, and we hope that you will share our fundraising goal with your network of family, friends and colleagues who would be interested in learning about or supporting this important tool that impacts cancer identification and treatment. We need an additional $9,800 to complete the purchase of the dPCR. Thank you for helping us to honor Joan’s memory and make progress in treating and preventing cancer.
Max, Jonnie, Laura, Eileen, Bridget, Brian, Dan, Marina, Jonathan, Sabrina
P.S. You can also mail in your donation. Your check payable to “UAF / UA Cancer Center,” with “Joan Luft Cohen Memorial” in the memo line, can be mailed to UA Cancer Center, UAHS Development, PO Box 245018, Tucson, AZ 85724. If you would like to learn more about the process used by Digital PCR visit this link.