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November 15, 2018 - Celebrate Hope to fund immunotherapy, brain cancer research

Celebrate Hope 2018 Doan 847.jpgNeurosurgeon Dr. Ninh Doan of USA Health University Hospital answers questions about his cancer research from guests at Celebrate Hope. Below right, Dr. Art Frankel, chief of medical oncology at USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, explains a feature of his work to MCI Director Dr. Michael A. Finan.

MOBILE, Alabama -- Researchers at USA Health will receive funding to study new treatments related to immunotherapy and brain cancer thanks to proceeds of nearly $300,000 from the 10th Annual Celebrate Hope gala, held November 15 at USA Mitchell Cancer Institute. It was sponsored by the University of South Alabama Foundation.

Dr. Art Frankel, chief of Hematology-Oncology for USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, will examine how gut microbes affect a patient’s response to immunotherapy for cancer. Dr. Ninh Doan, a neurosurgeon at USA Health University Hospital, will explore a new combination therapy for glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer. Both projects will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which is providing matching funding.

Celebrate Hope 2018 Frankel 847.jpgMore than 400 guests attended the event. In the past nine years, Celebrate Hope has raised almost $3 million, enabling Mitchell Cancer Institute to purchase a variety of equipment used in cancer research and scientist recruitment. The devices range from super resolution microscopes to a circular cell sorter, making Mitchell Cancer Institute a standout among research centers its size.

"We're doing some leading-edge cancer research," said MCI Director Dr. Michael A. Finan. "We've got more than 60 patents filed, more than a dozen issued patents and half a dozen biotech companies that have been spun off, all geared toward trying to find new ways to treat cancer, new ways to detect it early and new ways to prevent it."

Other proceeds from Celebrate Hope will be awarded to a junior faculty member, Christopher Koczar, Ph.D., and two postdoctoral students, Brandon D’Arcy, Ph.D., and Kevin Lee, Ph.D., of the Mitchell Cancer Institute for their research projects.

About Mitchell Cancer Institute

As the region's only academic cancer center, USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute combines NIH-funded scientific research with comprehensive cancer care serving communities across southern Alabama, southeast Mississippi and portions of northwest Florida. With three locations, more than 50 clinical trials, and five support groups, the Mitchell Cancer Institute guides patients and their families from the moment of diagnosis through survivorship.

Celebrate Hope 2018 for web.jpgMore than 400 guests attended the 10th Annual Celebrate Hope, raising an estimated $300,000 for cancer research projects.

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