As we quickly approach the end of 2012, we at the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) would like to take a moment to reflect on some of the major accomplishments achieved over the past year. These successes are possible because of you! Because of the wonderful contributions made by SFA supporters like you, we are able to move more rapidly toward our shared goal – eradicating sarcoma.
Earlier this week, Mark Thornton, President of the SFA Board of Directors, sent a letter to SFA members and donors thanking them for the role that they played in the successes that the organization – and the sarcoma community – had in 2012. We’d like to share some of this letter with you.
Dear SFA Friend,
On behalf of the Sarcoma Foundation of America, I would like to thank you for your wonderful support to the SFA. We sincerely thank you for your commitment to our mission to advocate for increased research to find new and better therapies for treating patients with sarcoma. The resolve of the SFA and our generous contributors has given us the opportunity to move toward the cure for sarcoma. I am writing you today because you are a vital member of our sarcoma community and share in the resolve of all sarcoma patients, their families, friends and caretakers to eradicate this rare cancer.
The past year has been a transformational one in our community! On the drug development front, the first new therapy for sarcoma in over 30 years, Votrient, was approved by the FDA in April! Votrient will prolong the time to progression in nearly all sarcoma patients to one degree or another, but more importantly it begins a new era where other therapies will be combined with Votrient to hopefully synergize their actions against the disease. Your SFA was right there when the FDA reviewed Votrient for approval, advocating publically for its quick approval, and in the process of a cordial and respectful advocacy effort with the FDA has opened new doors for future collaborations to streamline drug development pathways for sarcoma and its subtypes.
On the research front, the SFA funded our first three-year Conquer Cancer Foundation Career Development Award, is currently funding our sixth Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award, and funded 10 additional SFA sarcoma research grants worth $500,000! These grants are designed to foster the world’s best scientists in the field of sarcoma and ignite ideas for new research avenues to pursue in the quest to find new treatments to eradicate sarcoma.
The SFA has continued to advance our mission on many additional fronts including growing our Sarcoma Patient Registry to over 1,400 patients! The Registry is allowing us to match patients in need to clinical trials and is providing outcomes data for epidemiologic research studies to understand better sarcoma’s natural history. Future plans are to add patient genomic data, which combined with clinical data, will help move us toward the vision one day soon of individualized treatment programs.
With your help, our programs have touched the lives of so many. Though we have made progress, there is still an urgent need for further sarcoma research, education and advocacy. Sarcoma affects approximately 12,000 Americans each year, and 15% of all childhood cancer is sarcoma. It can attack anyone, at any time, and is often diagnosed too late, leaving those affected with few treatment options. The sarcoma research that is so vital to finding the cure for sarcoma relies on contributions from everyone.
Now, in a pivotal move toward the cure, the SFA has announced the creation of the VISION 2020 Campaign to Cure Sarcoma. The goal of this new campaign is to direct all of the energy and focus of the SFA toward successfully impacting the development and FDA approval of five new sarcoma therapies by the year 2020.
Thank you, once again, for your continued support. Together, we have the very real opportunity of finding the cure in our time.
Mark Thornton, MD, MPH, PhD
Certainly, 2012 was a remarkable year. But, we still have much work to do. To increase sarcoma research funds to find the cure, we need your continued commitment and help. Please make your tax-deductible, year-end contribution to the SFA and be a partner with us toward better treatments for sarcoma patients and for people affected by cancer around the world.