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. 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.
In 2009, at the age of 40, Dena’s late husband Chris was diagnosed with metastatic kidney cancer. Together, they began a quest for the best care possible to combat the disease. Chris was treated at four different comprehensive cancer centers and participated in multiple clinical trials.
Dr. Hans Hammers, M.D., Ph.D., is the KCCure Vice President and a renowned physician and researcher of renal cell carcinoma. Dr. Hammers’s work in immunotherapy has been nationally recognized, and he has been the principal investigators on several industry and investigator sponsored trials.
In June 2016, Dr. Hammers joined the faculty at UT Southwestern, where he is Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Co-Leader of Clinical Research and Immunotherapy of the Kidney Cancer Program. His research interest is in developing novel immunotherapies for kidney cancer. Before joining UT Southwestern, Dr. Hammers led the kidney cancer research efforts at Johns Hopkins.
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. He is the inaugural recipient of the Eugene P. Frenkel Scholar Award at UT Southwestern.
Vicki Loucks is the Treasurer for KCCure. She is a former commercial banker and the manager of client experience for a nationally recognized consultancy. Vicki was a longtime caregiver to her husband Rick who died of kidney cancer. During his illness, she not only advocated for her husband but also was influential in the patient community helping other families to find access to clinical trials and care at comprehensive cancer centers. She remains actively engaged with the patient community today.
Tammy Russo works for Continuum Clinical, where she has built the patient advocacy and professional society outreach department. Her work includes identification of, outreach to and relationship management with patient advocacy groups and medical societies—both in specific disease states and cross-tumor type. Previously, Tammy created the oncology patient advocacy role at Astellas, and also held a patient advocacy role at Shire.
Tammy’s work in healthcare advocacy began with her support for her best friend and mentor, her father, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2006. After surgery, several treatments and participation in a clinical study, Tom Russo passed in 2010. Tammy remains passionate in her commitment to working with and providing value to the kidney cancer community.
Elliot Reno, Medical Science Liaison at Pharmacyclics an AbbVie wholly owned subsidiary joins the KCCure board with a career long passion for the development of treatments for mRCC. Elliot began his career at Cetus Oncology/Chiron at the earliest days of immunotherapy working with interleukin-2. While at Cetus/Chiron, Elliot worked closely with the Cytokine Working Group on a number of clinical research programs in hopes of better defining who were the appropriate candidates for IL-2 treatment and programs designed to potentially improve efficacy and at the same time minimize toxicities of the treatment. From the earliest days of immunotherapy to the recent breakthroughs with the new class of IO’s, Elliot has taken opportunities to work with companies who’s products were focused on mRCC having been at AVEO Oncology and Argos Therapeutics.