“Now more than ever, the funds we raise through the Dolphins Cycling Challenge can impact the lives of our friends and family members who are struggling to overcome cancer”.
– DR. STEPHEN D. NIMER, director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
100% of the funds raised by the riders in the Dolphins Cycling Challenge are used to support cancer research at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. These funds stay right here in South Florida to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families. Because our patients come from throughout the region, (23% from Palm Beach County, 22% from Broward County, and 45% from Miami-Dade), the impact is felt across all three counties where the ride takes place.
Dr. Stephen Nimer and his leadership team make a special effort to prioritize the use of the funds where they will have the most impact today and into the future. With this as the goal, the DCC funds are used to:
- Promote truly innovative programs, by recruiting and retaining the best physicians and scientists to Sylvester, and providing them with the technology and support they need to excel.
- Make sure that cutting edge medications and technologies are available to treat cancer patients.
Nearly all of Sylvester’s senior leaders, and many of the physicians and scientists who receive support for their research, ride on Team UM Sylvester. Together, we are building a world-class cancer center!
Translational Research 13% – Identifying novel cancer therapies with a special focus on developing precision treatment efforts.
Clinical Trials 20% – Conducting clinical trials will allow patients to receive some of the most promising new drugs being developed.
Among the most urgent needs:
Pediatric Oncology 20% – Improving cancer treatment for children.
Breast Cancer 11% – Better understand the heterogeneity of breast cancer to help deliver more personalized therapies.
Genitourinary Cancer 5% – Identifying the causes of kidney cancer.
Radiation Oncology Research 31% – Developing new ways to more precisely deliver radiation therapy in prostate and bladder cancers.
The following examples outline projects and programs where DCC funds have been used since its inception in 2010.
- Innovative cancer vaccine program for children and adults with brain tumors and sarcoma.
- Targeted therapy in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
- New immunotherapy approaches to improve cancer treatment in children.
- Pediatric Phase I Clinical Trials that offer experimental treatment to children with advanced cancer.
- Development of a viral-based treatment that is specially engineered to destroy cancer cells in patients with recurrent Head and Neck cancer.
- Testing drugs that might neutralize Notch, a protein that seems to drive the growth of the most aggressive forms of esophageal cancer.
- Developing new technologies to determine if malignant cells are circulating in the blood of cancer patients – fundamental to understanding the spread of cancer through the blood stream to other organs.
- Studying “drivers” of the malignant behavior of breast cancer cells – in order to develop better targeted therapies for breast cancer patients.
- Developing a unique method to grow cancer cells in the lab from each patient’s tumor so we can test new experimental therapies.
- Developing new techniques to enhance the delivery of radiation therapy and improve outcomes for patients with prostate cancer.
- A state-of-the-art Image-Guided Adaptive Radiation Therapy (IGART) program.
- Efforts to optimally use genomics for tailoring radiotherapy and systemic treatment for GU malignancies.
- Collaborative research effort between Sylvester and Jackson Memorial’s Holtz Children’s Hospital for UM’s pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program.
- Examining the response of patient’s tumors upon treatment with various experimental gene therapy strategies.
- Expanding our adult Stem Cell Transplant Program.
- Regulation of gene expression in cancer – to help define how certain mutations drive the growth of cancer cells.
Creation of the Dolphins Cycling Challenge Endowment Fund
- To be used to support key, strategic recruits to enhance and grow Sylvester’s research programs and clinical trials portfolio. Bringing the best of the best to Sylvester, which is critical to our mission.
Dr. Alan Pollack, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Tan Ince
Dr. Adrian Ishkanian
Dr. Xiao-Jian Sun, PhD