Ten years ago my wife, Marnie, was diagnosed with ACC. She was only 38 years old, our four sons were all under the age of 10, and we were devastated. No one ever wants to hear the word, "cancer." And this was a rare cancer. We could find little to no information about it. We could see little to no research being done on it. That is why we decided, together with a dedicated core of family, friends and researchers, to create ACCRF.
Now entering our tenth year, there is so much for us to celebrate, and, yet, so much still to be done!
With thanks to your continued generosity, this year we funded an impressive array of new projects and witnessed an amazing payoff from past projects. Here is a small sampling of this year's key advances that were directly enabled by you through ACCRF:
- ACCRF supported projects to improve pre-surgical diagnoses to let patients and their physicians plan better for the right treatments
- A fourth clinical trial opened based on ACCRF-supported research
- More than 20 novel drugs and combinations were tested in our mouse models
- The promising field of immunotherapy is being assessed for the first time to benefit ACC patients
- We expanded our research efforts to include ACC of the breast.
- ACCRF convened a major state-of-the-science conference at the Salk Institute with many leading oncology experts
And while the past year has been filled with important advances, it is the cumulative achievements since ACCRF's inception that are even more impressive. Please take a minute to review our chart of "ACComplishments," which shows how the field of ACC research has been transformed from a backwater into a model for approaching other rare diseases.
But we can't do any of this alone!
ACCRF's innovative approach to research has kept us on course to better treatments and a cure for ACC, while permitting us to be nimble in allocating our resources to new ideas on the frontiers of cancer research. As we welcome 2015, we cannot be certain about all of the next steps forward, but with your support we'll again be ready to take them. We eagerly anticipate the results from our preclinical model development, target validation and drug discovery efforts. Each of these research areas holds the potential to rapidly improve the situation of ACC patients in the clinic.
Of course, the progress has not been fast enough for many in the ACC community. We continue to endure the difficult treatments and, worse yet, the painful losses of loved ones. The challenge we face is enormous.
Yet we will persist and thrive to help those who are still with us and honor those who have passed.
Please consider renewing and expanding your support for life-changing research to make it so.
As a reminder, Our Circle of Sustenance donors have committed to covering all administrative expenses, ensuring that 100% of your donation will go directly to fund promising ACC research projects.
We have a great plan of action and a great network of researchers to carry it out. We look forward to walking side by side with you on our journey of hope!
Warm wishes for the holiday season,
The ACCRF Board of Directors
Jeff Kaufman, Executive Director Marnie Abbott Kaufman
Tom DiLenge Douglas Meyer
Kara Gelb Ralph Mollis