[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 26-Jul-2010
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute

The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation donates additional research funds to TGen

100 percent of donations support advanced breast cancer research and treatment

PHOENIX, Ariz. July 26, 2010 The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation continues its fight against advanced breast cancer with a $50,000 donation to the Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), for a total contribution over two years of $300,000.

In addition, the Mountains of Hope Foundation recently gave an additional $60,000 to Ohio's University Hospitals (UH) Ireland Cancer Center, bringing the total donated during the past year to $110,000.

"Our sole mission is to enable research that allows for earlier diagnosis and better treatment for patients with advanced breast cancer," said Allen J. Gula, Chairman of the Mountains of Hope Foundation. "Collaborative relationships, such as those we've fostered among renowned research and medical institutions, including TGen and UH Ireland Cancer Center, help to further the Foundation's efforts to ensure the research gets into the hands of those who stand to benefit the most the patients."

TGen continues to make significant strides by conducting groundbreaking research into the genetic components of common and complex diseases, including advanced breast cancer. Recent contributions from the Mountains of Hope Foundation were matched with other donations to the TGen Foundation, the fundraising arm of the non-profit biomedical research institute. That combination has enabled bioinformatics expertise to accelerate TGen's project to Molecularly Characterize Circulating Tumor Cells in Stage IV breast cancer patients.

"The latest donation from the Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation will add enormously to our ability to turn genomic discoveries in the research laboratory into evidence-based approaches to treat breast cancer patients with advanced disease," said Dr. Heather Cunliffe, who leads TGen's Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research Unit. "The tremendous amount of data generated by high resolution genomics research poses a significant computational challenge. The support of the Mountains of Hope Foundation have alleviated that bottleneck, and is propelling discovery toward advances in healthcare."

Michael Bassoff, President of the TGen Foundation, said, "We are proud to team up with the Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation, and other leading institutions, to bring new hope to tens of thousands of women with aggressive breast cancer worldwide."

The latest donation to UH Ireland Cancer Center, as well as all future proceeds, will be used solely to fund clinical research and treatment options for metastatic breast cancer by UH Ireland Cancer Center physicians, researchers and care providers. Earlier this year, the Mountains of Hope Foundation announced it had also joined forces with the UH Ireland Cancer Center's "Miracle Fund" to raise ongoing research funds across Northeast Ohio.

"Extensive metastatic breast cancer research is currently underway at UH Ireland Cancer Center thanks to the unwavering commitment of the Mountains of Hope Foundation and their partnership with the UH "Miracle Fund," said William Schiemann, Ph.D., associate professor and co-director, breast cancer program leader at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"Our team is focused on discovering the molecular basis for how recurrent breast cancers arise. Defining these deadly rules will enable researchers here at UH and other centers like TGen to develop novel and effective therapies, as well as usher in a new era of personalized medicine to eradicate metastatic breast cancer."

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The Mountains of Hope Foundation was established in 2003 by Marilyn B. Gula, who ultimately lost her decade-long battle with advanced breast cancer, but not before she established the Foundation with the intent of making inroads to improve the detection, treatment and management of this deadly disease for others.

About The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation

The Mountains of Hope Foundation (501-c3) was established in 2003 by Marilyn Barry Gula, a native of Northeast Ohio, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996. Although controlled by powerful drugs, the cancer continued to recur until the drugs were ineffective and she lost her battle with this insidious disease on July 26, 2006. As a result, the Mountains of Hope Foundation was renamed "The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation" to honor her memory and continue the work she began. Based in Phoenix, 100 percent of every dollar donated is applied directly to funding highly-regarded researchers across the nation who study advanced stages of breast cancer, with the hope of making inroads to improve the detection, treatment and management of this deadly disease. For more information, visit www.mountainsofhopefoundation.org

Media Contact:

Jill Arslanian / Jennifer Raynor
The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation
216-712-7778
media@ardentcgroup.com

About University Hospitals

University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care physicians. At the core of our health system is University Hospitals Case Medical Center. The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research centers of excellence in the nation and the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics and spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked second in the nation for the care of critically ill newborns; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Ireland Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information, go to www.uhhospitals.org.

Media Contact:

Alicia Reale
University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center
216-844-5158
alicia.reale@uhhospitals.org

About TGen

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.

Media Contact:

Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
602-343-8704
syozwiak@tgen.org



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