Cancer Challenge Targets Lung Cancer for ’09 Fund-raising Efforts

April 16, 2009

 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Leaders of the Cancer Challenge, an organization of young professionals in the Triad, kicked off their 2009 fund-raising effort this spring looking to exceed their $50,000 goal for the second straight year to benefit cancer research at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

The Challenge raises money to support a new cancer research project each year to help cancer patients and their families, to advance medical discovery and engage the support of the community. This year’s efforts will support lung cancer research.

Last year, the Challenge raised more than $69,000 for brain cancer research. W. Jeffrey Petty, M.D., assistant professor of hematology and oncology, said that money raised through last year’s Challenge helped fund a study related to angiotensin-(1-7), a hormone taken by patients whose cancers were not responding to treatments used during a phase I clinical trial.

Angiotensin-(1-7) originally was applied to treating lung cancer. Dr. Petty, whose clinical focus is lung cancer, collaborated with Glenn Lesser, M.D., whose clinical interests include brain tumors and neuro-oncology, to expand the study on the hormone’s benefits to include brain cancer patients.

“Several of these patients had clinical benefit, and we are now moving forward with the next phase of development,” Dr. Petty said. “Thanks to the funds from the Cancer Challenge, we have been able to analyze biological markers of response in blood samples taken from patients in the study, and those samples have provided valuable information to answer scientific questions about why some patients benefited.”

The 2009 fund-raising effort continues through May 31. More information on the Cancer Challenge and how to contribute is available at

The Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of only 40 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States.  In 2008, U.S. News & World Report ranked the program 26th in the country.

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