GIVEHOPE is an entirely volunteer-run organization that supports southwest Ohio cancer patients and their families, as well as local cancer researchers at the University of Cincinnati. GIVEHOPE aims to expedite progress in the fight against pancreatic cancer, the fourth deadliest form of cancer in the United States behind only breast, lung and colon cancer. Since its inception in late 2010, GIVEHOPE, along with its corporate partner, BSI Engineering, has raised more than $150,000 to benefit pancreatic cancer research, education, prevention and awareness programs, with a particular focus on the greater Cincinnati area. GIVEHOPE has endowed more than $25,000, including 25 percent of all donations, to support future research and awareness programs.
The fight against pancreatic cancer continues to be an uphill battle, especially when it comes to funding research studies and awareness efforts. In fact, in 2011 the National Cancer Institute spent six times as much money on breast cancer research and three times as much on lung and colon cancer research than on pancreatic cancer research. In addition, the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients is currently six percent, the same survival rate from 30 years ago. But GIVEHOPE remains encouraged that further progress can be made.
GIVEHOPE has been involved in several efforts to foster advancement in pancreatic cancer research, including providing initial funding to various research studies. This past March, GIVEHOPE donated $10,000 to fund a University of Cincinnati study designed to examine the protocol for operable pancreatic cancer patients to have chemotherapy and targeted radiation before surgery. The hope is that this research can yield discoveries that could someday lead to raising the survival rate of operable pancreatic cancer patients from six percent to over fifty percent.
In its first year, GIVEHOPE, in conjunction with BSI Engineering, awarded $21,000 to the University of Cincinnati Pancreatic Disease Center to fund an international study that aimed to shed light on how the protein known as alternatively-spliced Tissue Factor (asTF) contributes to the growth of several forms of aggressive cancer. After the completion of the initial study, one of the head researchers, Dr. Bogdanov, Ph.D. (University of Cincinnati), received a $300,000 grant from the National Institute of Health to continue his research. This was an especially-impressive feat considering only seven percent of all studies across all medical fields receive NIH funding. In November 2013, GIVEHOPE awarded Dr. Bogdanov a grant of $35,000 to further explore his Tissue Factor research, and in May 2015, Bogdanov was awarded an additional $1.4 million by the National Cancer Institute to extend his research for five more years.
Additionally, in November 2013, GIVEHOPE contributed $30,000 and, along with BSI Engineering and the University of Cincinnati, co-hosted the ninth annual UC Pancreatic Cancer Symposium, which serves to educate doctors and nurses about the latest developments in pancreatic cancer symptoms, treatment options and general research. In March 2014, GIVEHOPE donated an infusion chair towards the makeover of the University of Cincinnati Barrett Cancer Center’s chemotherapy area.