With generous contributions from people like you, we have achieved a colossal milestone this year: the first new treatment for anal cancer in four decades. Overall, 2017 was an incredible year of progress as we made significant advances in cancer research, prevention and support. In addition to this long-awaited breakthrough in treatment, our Peer to Peer Support Program continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and we had the largest-ever cohort of intrepid NOMEN athletes compete in the name of ending HPV. Our advocacy in the UK has brought us one step closer to protecting all children against viral-caused cancers. Learn more below about our incredible year in patient and research achievements. THANK YOU for helping us make it happen!
A New Age in Anal Cancer Treatment
It is a major goal of the organization to develop a pipeline of new drugs that treat anal cancer and move them rapidly into the clinic where patients can benefit. The promise of a cure got closer this year through the first advance in anal cancer treatment in 42 years. Working with a powerhouse research team at MD Anderson Cancer Center, we funded the first phase II immunotherapy trial ever conducted in anal cancer patients. This groundbreaking study tested nivolumab, an immune checkpoint inhibitor, in metastatic anal cancer thrivers who had received multiple rounds of treatment previously. The study achieved a 24% response rate to the new immunotherapy. Further, it was well tolerated with minimal side effects. To ensure patients are obtaining the best treatment, our goal is not only to test new compounds but also to answer the crucial question of why some patients respond and others do not. With our funding, the research team was able to gain valuable insight into the genomic and molecular biomarkers within tumors that were responsive to the treatment. This is the first step of many towards having better, less toxic treatment options available to anal cancer thrivers and their families.
Cancer Prevention For All
It has been a busy year of advocacy in the UK through our leadership at HPV Action. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) made an interim decision in July to not to protect boys against HPV. We rallied oncologists, medical experts and coalition members in a strong response to change the decision. The effort resulted in a significant step in November when the committee acknowledged that their decision was based on outdated information. JCVI determined that additional scenarios needed exploration along with a peer review process. While this is a positive development, the fight is not over as it is possible JCVI will ultimately still decide to protect only half the population. We will continue to fight to protect all children against HPV.
Racing To End Preventable Cancer
Our NOMAN is an Island: Race To End HPV teams sped across the Mediterranean this summer with a record 8 crews! The NOMAN campaign challenges individuals to extreme endurance events, raising awareness of the connection between HPV and 5% of cancers. This year we raised nearly $600,000 and featured NOMAN’s first all-female team! You can watch highlights at nomancampaign.org. Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed!
A Cure for 5% of the World’s Cancer
The Foundation supports novel and groundbreaking research into finding new treatments. We are excited to be involved in the first trial to seek a therapy targeted to multiple HPV-related cancers simultaneously. The trial is open to patients across the country and is occurring at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It is a Phase Ib/II clinical trial testing a vaccine for the treatment of incurable HPV-related oropharyngeal, cervical and anal cancer. We have supported this trial from the lab to clinical trial, and hope this provides the first step towards a cure for 5% of all cancer.
Our groundbreaking Peer to Peer Support Program officially surpassed 130 matches in 2017! We hear from thrivers in our program that the information received from their peer mentors is oﬅen more helpful than what their medical team provides. That is precisely why we started the program – to alleviate the isolation that too many thrivers and their caregivers encounter aﬅer diagnosis. Thank you to all the peer volunteers who have given their time and energy to this program. Please let us know how we can improve our service, and what else you would like to see from us!