gac-check-presentation_2016The 2016 Golfers Against Cancer Tournament and Gala were was a major success earlier this year. The event raised $125,000 for research projects at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

Golfers Against Cancer is a national organization founded in 1997 by a group of Houston golfers who lost two close friends to cancer. Motivated to raise money for cancer research, the group created an annual golf tournament with a live and silent auction, with proceeds going to fund grants for local cancer researchers. The Denver chapter of Golfers Against Cancer was founded by Scott Pearson.

Funds from this year’s event are supporting three research projects at the CU Cancer Center. Two of the projects are focused breast cancer research and the other is focused on lung cancer.

Traci Lyons, PhD, CU Cancer Center member and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine/Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Lyons has partnered with Kirk Hansen, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and Director of the Proteomics Shared Resource in the CU Cancer Center. Their project is entitled “Deciphering the tumor extrinsic role of Sem7a in breast cancer progression“ and seeks to identify how Sem7a may alter the normal cells that reside within breast tumors and leads to cancer spread (metastasis)

For the second breast cancer research project Jill Slansky, PhD, Professor of Immunology and Microbiology, has partnered with Virginia Borges, MD, Director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at the CU Cancer Center and an Associate Professor of Medicine. Their project, “Identification of T Cell Responses shared among Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivors“, will identify the T cell receptors shared among survivors to set the stage for generating a TNBC vaccine to activate the memory T cells to eliminate any breast cancer cells that may result in recurrence.

Eric Clambey, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, will collaborate with Raphael Nemenoff, PhD, a Professor in the Department of Medicine. Their project, “Role of tumor cell-intrinsic MHC class II in lung cancer immunotherapy”, seeks to identify specific molecules on cancer cells that make them susceptible to novel therapeutics enabling the patient’s immune system to recognize and attack their lung tumor cells.

In past years, the Denver Chapter of Golfers Against Cancer has funded research on cancers of the blood system, gastrointestinal, bladder, liver, head and neck, as well as childhood cancer and general mechanisms of cancer development.