Fundraising

BACKGROUND

Dan Stock, a sound engineer and producer, was diagnosed with cancer. Before he passed he expressed his desire to establish a musical showcase featuring local artists in an effort to raise money for Dr. Timothy Kuzel’s research. Stock hoped to use his art form to gather like-minded people who want to help find a cure for a disease that affects so many people.

Timothy Kuzel, MD, professor of Medicine-Hematology/Oncology and Dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, is a nationally recognized melanoma and immunotherapy researcher and clinician. His contributions have led to significant breakthroughs in immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy research relies on the notion that scientists and physicians can develop agents to “wake up” the immune system to recognize and fight against cancer. It is believed that tilting the balance from an immune-suppressive to an immune-active environment is necessary for effective anti-melanoma therapy.

And Dr. Kozel was Dan Stock’s oncologist.

STRATEGY

Establish an annual fundraiser including organizing the event, soliciting donations, and supervising volunteers.

Key marketing initiatives included creating a website and social presence, curating social content to increase ticket sales and donation items (DANSTOCK Facebook), issuing press releases and garnering local support.

RESULTS

Three events raised over $60,000 for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. and the group was invited into the Nathan Smith Davis Recognition Program-Northwestern University Leadership Circle.

Philanthropic support continues to be the catalyst behind cutting-edge immunotherapy research at Northwestern University and Dr. Kuzel’s success. In this regard, philanthropy funds translational research of immunotherapy in treating melanoma. DANSTOCK became a tremendous partner in helping to move this meaningful research forward from the laboratory to the bedside, bringing novel clinical trials to patients in the Chicago area, which otherwise would not have been possible.

Examples of lab research and clinical trials supported by DANSTOCK are listed below:
Current Lab Research:

 

In partnership with Dr. Bin Zhang, Dr. Kuzel and his team are testing the therapeutic efficacy of a novel cytokine called IL-33 against melanoma cells in both the laboratory and in mice. IL-33 seems to slow melanoma growth and strengthen the survival rate of mice with melanoma. This project examines the mechanisms behind IL-33 and its slowing of melanoma growth and improved survival rates of mice with melanoma. The findings from this study and others will be translated in a clinical trial setting.

Clinical Trials Currently Underway:

 

A Randomized Phase II Study of Ipilimumab at 3 mg/kg or 10 mg/kg alone or in combination with High Dose Interferon-a in Advanced Melanoma

A Randomized Phase II Trial of Ipilimumab with or without Bevacizumab in Patients with Unresectable Stage III or Stage IV Melanoma

A Phase 1 Open-label Study of Safety and Tolerability of MEDI4736 (anti PD-L1 antibody) in Subjects with Metastatic or Unresectable Melanoma in Combination with Dabrafenib and Trametinib or with Trametinib Alone

A Randomized Phase II Study of Sequential Biotherapy with Aflibercept and High Dose IL-2 versus High Dose IL-2 alone in Patients with Inoperable Stage III or Stage IV Melanoma: Efficacy and Biomarker Study

Conduction of multiple trials of various anti PD-1 trials (including the new drug FDA approved recently-only site in Chicago)

Melanoma is one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer and one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States. DANSTOCK enables research that promises to offer insights into ways to better treat patients living with melanoma in the future.