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May 7, 2008
 
       
 
 

GW CANCER BASH


 

Saturday night we arrived at the GW Cancer Institute Gala just in time to hear the big news: The Avon Foundation gave $500k to send GW's Mammovan to DC's poorest quadrant. That's two years of mammographies and education in Anacostia. Each year, the mobile unit does 2500 mammographies and costs $3600/day to operate. We scanned the crowd at the National Building Museum on Saturday and found ourselves some happy doctors.

 
 

GW Cancer Institute Executive Director Steven Patierno and GW Director of Corporate Relations Jill Bond flank Avon's Breast Cancer Crusade Marc Hurlbert, maybe to be sure he doesn't accidentally leave with the $500,000 check still in his pocket. (Is that why they use those giant ones?)  For his part, Marc wasn't planning on leaving since he had yet to bid on the silent auction wines. Having sampled the finest vineyards in Australia during a recent 2 week trip, he was in the right frame of mind to buy.

 
 

We assume GW President Steven Knapp just told Archbishop Desmond Tutu the one about the baby born in a high-tech delivery room ("It was cordless!"). The Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, and prostate cancer-survivor, was on hand to receive the Cancer Compassion Award for his lifetime of service. Other honorees included GW's own oncology specialists Robert and Paula Siegel.

 

 

While GW Prof. Sidney Fu and McCormick Genomic Center director Tim McCaffrey check out some of the auction items, Tim's wife Eva subtly reminds him that they don't need one/already have it/don't have room for it. Sidney and Tim are working with the GW Cancer Institute to genotype patients to determine why certain populations, such as African-Americans, are more prone to prostate cancer. Sidney's also part of the team that discovered the BP1 homeobox gene which is over-expressed in 81% of breast cancer cases. Ideally, the discovery will lead to drugs that can target the gene for cancer treatment. If he hits a wall, Sidney might turn to his son, Yebo Fu, a high school sophomore at Marriotts Ridge, who spent past summers tooling around the lab at GW and recently won $150 in a science fair in Baltimore.

 
 
 
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