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KCCure Awards Inaugural Grant of $100,000 to Dana Farber for work in CAR T-Cell Research

WASHINGTON – The Kidney Cancer Research Alliance (KCCure) announced today that their first research grant of $100,000 has been awarded to Dr. Wayne Marasco, at Dana Farber Cancer Center for his proposal: CAR T-Cell Factories that change the Tumor Microenvironment to Achieve RCC Cures.

“I am incredibly grateful to receive this award.  These funds will help support our translational program to bring CAR T cell therapy into the clinic. We are totally aligned with KCCure’s mission to find a kidney cancer cure,” said Dr. Marasco.

“This is a milestone for KCCure and for kidney cancer research as a whole,” said Dr. Hans Hammers, cofounder and head of the scientific advisory board for KCCure.  “CAR T-Cell research is emerging as one of the most exciting new areas in cancer treatment and we believe that Dr. Marasco’s work will translate to new treatment opportunities for kidney cancer patients. We are grateful to all the donors who gave their time and effort to make this award a reality.”

“Increasing funding for research in kidney cancer is crucial for developing new treatments for patients.  Based on the outstanding applications we received for this award, it’s clear that we need to do more to ensure that these early research projects have the resources they need to get off the ground,” said Dena Battle, co-founder and President of KCCure.  “We’re grateful to all of the researchers who are working to find a cure for this disease – you give hope to patients around the world.”

KCCure is a grassroots organization of patients, caregivers, and doctors committed to advancing research in the field of kidney cancer by increasing private funding for basic research, promoting collaboration among stakeholders, and magnifying the voice of patients and caregivers.

The organization was launched last year by Dena Battle, who lost her husband to kidney cancer and Dr. Hans Hammers, the medical oncologist who treated him.  KCCure’s research grant program is focused on high risk and innovative projects that often have no resources to turn to for funding.  All grant proposals are peer reviewed by a scientific advisory board, which includes the top specialists in kidney cancer as well as patient reviewers.

Dena Battle, is the President for KCCure. She began her career in Washington, DC, as a congressional aide, and went on to work as a lobbyist for more than 10 years, working primarily on tax and healthcare policy. After losing her husband to kidney cancer, she remained active in the patient community.  In addition to leading KCCure, she serves on the Advisory Board for the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and as a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council. She has testified before the FDA – Oncological Drug Advisory Board (ODAC) and helped co-author an NCI-ASCO-sponsored paper on improving end-of-life care for cancer patients.

Hans Hammers, M.D., Ph.D., is the Vice President of KCCure and is a nationally and internationally renowned physician and researcher in the field of kidney cancer.  He serves as the Co-Leader of Clinical Research and Immunotherapy of the Kidney Cancer Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center.  Dr. Hammers earned degrees from the University of Lubeck in Germany. He completed his residency training in the Johns Hopkins medical system and completed his fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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Dena Battle is the President of KCCure. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and as a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Council.

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