Funding Research Towards a Cure Endowment Campaign | September 2021
The MRF’s mission is to eradicate melanoma by accelerating medical RESEARCH while EDUCATING and ADVOCATING for the melanoma community.
A young woman named Diana Ashby, originally diagnosed in her late twenties, was now facing her third recurrence of melanoma. She was told by her treatment team that there were no options left and that she should plan accordingly. For Diana, quitting was not an option and she knew that she had to use her voice to help change the status quo for patients like her. With the help of her friends and family she formed the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) slowly and steadily raising funds to support its first research grant. At the time, this was revolutionary as there was little funding for clinician-scientists in melanoma research — why go into a field with such poor outcomes? When the MRF made its first grant to the scientific community, it was the only funder besides the federal government. The need for a cure Twenty-five years ago, there were no FDA-approved treatments for melanoma.
PATIENTS FELT HELPLESS AND METASTATIC PATIENTS WERE LEFT WITH FEW OPTIONS.
DIANA ASHBY HELPS FOUND THE MRF IN 1996.
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The MRF is leading the charge in changing the research landscape from bench to bedside, investing in melanoma patients and their families’ future. There are now 16 FDA-approved single and combination treatments to fight melanoma resulting in over 50% of metastatic patients having no evidence of disease. However, melanoma diagnosis rates have continued to rise rapidly over the past few decades. In 2021 alone over 106,000 will be diagnosed. On average, there has been a year-over-year increase of 2%.
16 FDA-APPROVED TREATMENTS
Increase IN MELANOMA DIAGNOSIS RATES
FDA approves the first immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma.
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Despite the advances, melanoma treatments do not work for all patients. Recurrence and dormancy remain challenges for the scientific community. Ocular melanoma, the second most common type of melanoma, metastasizes to the liver 50% of the time and there are currently no FDA-approved treatments for this rare disease. A recent survey estimates that 20% of patients missed their annual skin exam due to COVID-19 resulting in an exponential increase in melanoma diagnoses in the years ahead. Melanoma is most common in men and their rate of diagnosis increases after age 50. Melanoma remains the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25–30 and the second leading cause of cancer death in women ages 30–35. In ages 15–29, melanoma is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer. The incidence of young people under 30 developing melanoma is increasing faster than any other group, soaring in women by 50% since 1980.
FDA approves the first targeted therapy for BRAF mutant metastatic melanoma.
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The need for greater investment in research continues.
As the drugs become more sophisticated, new obstacles will emerge that need to be addressed. As a leader in the melanoma community, the MRF is uniquely positioned to address these challenges and support cutting-edge research for years to come. For a newly diagnosed patient or one facing a metastatic diagnosis, the hope of future research that could lead to a positive outcome changes everything.
16 FDA-APPROVED TREATMENTS 22 CLINICAL TRIALS 6 NEW PATENTED THERAPIES 409 SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATIONS 589 RESEARCH GRANT COLLABORATIONS
TO LEARN MORE, VISIT MELANOMA.ORG/RESEARCH-SCIENCE.
inhibitor for metastatic melanoma. 2014
FDA approves the first PD-1 checkpoint
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Based in Washington, DC, the Melanoma Research Foundation interacts with patients and caregivers across the United States. The Foundation delivers on its mission by hosting educational symposia at leading academic centers, engaging local communities in events, and bringing together advocates on Capitol Hill to share their personal stories with lawmakers to influence change.
An endowment offers donors the profound ability to impact the lives of melanoma patients for generations to come. Funding the MRF’s endowment will enable increased investment in research grants and initiatives, a focused and sustained effort to unravel some of the most challenging medical problems and lead to new collaborations in the field. Funding the future
Funds contributed to the MRF’s endowed fund are invested conservatively and professionally managed and overseen by the MRF’s Investment Committee. Each year, a percentage of the endowment’s income is used to support the MRF’s peer-reviewed research grant program that is led by a sophisticated team of renowned melanoma clinician-scientists.
FDA approves the first combination checkpoint regimen for metastatic melanoma.
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Impact of your gift By investing in the MRF’s endowment, you will be leveraging your support with that of others to accelerate research progress. As a result, you will:
SUPPORT the FDA drug-approval pathway 4
CREATE better outcomes for patients
CREATE clinical trial opportunities 3
FOSTER scientific collaborations between Breakthrough Consortium members to expand knowledge and expertise in the field 2
INCREASE the number and amount of grants awarded annually 1
FDA approves the first combination targeted therapy for adjuvant therapy of BRAF mutant melanoma.
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Why I give
Melanoma changed my life forever. I was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic melanoma on November 23, 2009. Melanoma protocols had not changed for more than
My family and I first discovered the Melanoma Research Foundation when I was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. Not knowing anything about the disease, we searched for answers to
15 years, with no progress toward extending life expectancy for late-stage patients. At the age of 45 the doctors gave me six months to live. I enrolled in a Phase 1 clinical trial that saved my life and changed the “why” we fight melanoma. I am dedicated to advocating for patients battling melanoma and supporting the MRF’s mission to expand treatment options and help young investigators fund research. As a Board member of the MRF I know the importance of giving back now and planning a gift for the future. We are gaining ground in the fight against melanoma, but we need to continue to move the needle forward today and tomorrow. That is why I contribute annually and included the MRF to my estate plans to support its endowment so that the progress that has been made does not stop until we find a cure.
our many questions. The MRF website proved to be an invaluable tool, providing us with information and support throughout every stage from diagnosis, to treatment, to survivorship. Our family contributes to the MRF so we can carry on with the important work for the melanoma community through research, education and advocacy. We believe that it will continue to help patients, caregivers and families in the way it helped us.
FDA approves the first combination of checkpoint plus targeted therapy for BRAF mutant metastatic melanoma.
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2020 ANNUAL REPORT MRF FUNDING
An outright gift in the form of cash or appreciated securities will allow you to receive immediate tax benefits in the year you make your gift to the MRF. Many individuals also choose to fund an endowment by remembering the MRF in their estate plans and making a bequest. On average, 84 cents of every dollar donated to the MRF goes directly to fund its programs and the people they serve. Participation in the endowment will allow the MRF to direct more funds to its research programs while ensuring financial stability for many years to come.
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The MRF is completely funded by its community of generous individual donors, corporations and foundations. It does not receive federal funding. The ability for the foundation to thrive and to continue to advocate on behalf of patients and to support the critical research that will benefit them is at the core of our mission. Together, we will invest in science that will make a difference in the lives of the millions that are impacted by this disease. Our commitment to the melanoma community
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Our Scientific Advisory Committee
MICHAEL B. ATKINS, MD Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Georgetown University Washington, D.C.
GLENN MERLINO, PHD* National Cancer Institute, NIH Bethesda, Maryland * Dr. Merlino is serving in his personal capacity.
TERESA LANDI, MD, PHD National Cancer Institute Bethesda, Maryland
ANDREW APLIN, PHD Kimmel Cancer Center Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
MARTIN MCMAHON, PHD Huntsman Cancer Institute and Department of Dermatology Salt Lake City, Utah
MENASHE BAR-ELI, PHD (Grant SRO) Metastasis Research Center University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and UTHealth Science Center Houston, Texas
KEIRAN SMALLEY, PHD H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute Tampa, Florida
MARCUS BOSENBERG, MD, PHD Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer Yale Cancer Center New Haven, Connecticut
JEFF SOSMAN, MD Robert H. Laurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University Chicago, Illinois
CLARA CURIEL, MD Skin Cancer Institute The University of Arizona Cancer Center Tucson, Arizona ADIL DAUD, MD UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center San Francisco, California
JENNIFER WARGO, MD, MMSC University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, Texas
ASHANI WEERARATNA, PHD The Wistar Institute Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
KEITH T. FLAHERTY, MD Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, Massachusetts
ALAN GELLER, MPH, RN Harvard School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts
MELANOMA RESEARCH FOUNDATION 1420 K Street, NW, 7th Floor Washington, DC 20005 T 202.347.9675 or 1.800.MRF.1290 F 202.347.9678 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.melanoma.org facebook.com/Melanoma.Research.Foundation twitter.com/CureMelanoma
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