The Overview: February 2023
We hope you’re feeling the love from the teal community this week, and always. We’re just seven weeks into 2023 and there’s so much to share — new grantees, a new website, and a bold, new direction in the fight against ovarian cancer.
- Major news outlets have been reporting on a massive shift in how we approach ovarian cancer. OCRA is proud to lead this effort, moving from a focus on symptom awareness to instead, looking at risk and preventative strategies. Until there’s a cure, we must focus on proven outcomes that can save lives. Learn more about our campaign and how we are helping people understand their risk for the disease, and strategies to avoid ever getting a diagnosis.
- OCRA is thrilled to award $7M, our largest grant year ever, to 20 researchers across the U.S. who are poised to break new ground in a wide array of ways: seeking to overcome PARP inhibitor resistance; identifying recurrent disease earlier; predicting response to treatment; finding new therapeutic targets and biomarkers; and more. Meet our 2023 grantees and learn about their projects.
- After you’ve learned more about these top minds in the field, send them a note of thanks! Science can be grueling, and it takes many disappointments to get to each breakthrough. Let them know you’re standing by their side as they work every day to improve outcomes on our behalf. Thank a grantee by filling out this form with a quick note of gratitude.
- Survey of Ovarian Cancer Survivors: Five major centers — Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — are working on a Break Through Cancer research endeavor that includes a brief survey of the OCRA community. They thank you in advance for your participation as we all continue to work towards a future free from ovarian cancer.
- A recent study, funded in part by OCRA, has shed new light on how the most common subtype of ovarian cancer develops and metastasizes, by identifying a key molecule that allows malignancies in the fallopian tube to migrate to the ovaries and continue to grow.
- Another study, also funded in part by OCRA and published in Nature, shares news of a research team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center that set out to identify specific factors that lead to immune evasion in high-grade serous cancer.
- OCRA is pleased to award research prizes to two individuals breaking ground in the ovarian cancer field. Read more about the Rosalind Franklin and Liz Tilberis prize winners.
- Sign up now! We need your voice at our Spring Advocacy Day, to be held virtually on March 15th. Join survivors and supporters as we meet with elected officials and advocate for ovarian cancer research and education programs to remain a congressional priority. No experience needed! Advanced training will be provided.
- On February 7th, during his State of the Union address to Congress, President Biden once again called for “an end to cancer as we know it.” He urged Congress to renew funding for the Cancer Moonshot that was first formed during the Obama administration. “Our goal is to cut the cancer death rate by at least 50% over the next 25 years,” Biden said. OCRA attended a briefing last week led by White House Cancer Moonshot Coordinator Danielle Carnival where she spoke about efforts to expand cancer research and innovation, address inequities in cancer screening, and provide more access to patient support services. Dr. Carnival specifically noted that ovarian cancer is particularly difficult to diagnose and treat, and that better diagnostic tools and innovations are needed.
- Have you participated in OCRA’s Staying Connected support series? Meeting either weekly or monthly, there is a group for everyone. Whether you’re a young adult facing a gynecologic cancer or the parent of a young adult, a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, or the loved one of a patient, there is a space for you. Learn more and register here.
- We are excited to announce the addition of our new monthly Book Club as a complement to our Staying Connected virtual support group series. This Book Club will offer a space to reflect, discuss and connect around a shared reading. Once registered, participants will receive the book in the mail and should come prepared to share thoughts and reflect on the book’s themes. Facilitated by our Oncology Social Work interns, sessions will be 90 minutes and are open to individuals at any stage of their gynecologic cancer journey.
- Through participation in a clinical trial, gynecologic cancer patients have the chance to receive the latest and most innovative investigational medicines that experts think might improve their cancer. OCRA offers a simple way to connect with a trial that may be most appropriate for you, and you can speak with someone 1-on-1 or do your own online search with a special tool. Find out why more than 2,600 patients used OCRA’s Clinical Trial Finder in the last year alone.
Ways to Give
Did you know there are three simple ways you can support OCRA’s mission that will only take a few minutes to complete?
- Make a quick promise that lasts all year long — Join OCRA’s Promise Circle, a group of dedicated supporters whose gifts are enduring. With just one simple form, you can set up a monthly donation. Even a little bit goes a long way. (time to complete: 1 minute)
- Spin gold or silver into something even more valuable — Your broken and unwanted gold jewelry and sterling silver can be turned into a cash donation to OCRA. Simply request a prepaid FedEx labelfrom our partner Jewelry for Good, then drop your items in an envelope or box. You will receive a donation receipt for the full market value of your jewelry. (time to complete: 5 minutes)
- Include OCRA in your estate planning — No matter your age or wealth, estate planning is an act of responsibility that protects your loved ones, and can even help future generations. Need help creating a will? OCRA has partnered with FreeWill, a free online resource that guides you through the process of creating a legally valid will and allows you to help build a brighter world for those facing ovarian cancer by including a gift to OCRA. (time to complete: 20 minutes)