Conquer Cancer Foundation Donor Spotlight: Gateway for Cancer Research

Apr 05, 2016

The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO is collaborating with Gateway for Cancer Research (Gateway) to fund a 2016 and 2017 Young Investigator Award through the Conquer Cancer Foundation Grants and Awards program. 

“Conquer Cancer Foundation is grateful for the generous support from Gateway and delighted that this collaboration will provide critical research funding for two early-career cancer researchers,” said Nancy R. Daly, MS, MPH, Executive Vice President and Chief Philanthropic Officer of the Conquer Cancer Foundation.

Gateway was founded in 1991 by Richard J Stephenson, also a founding father of Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), as part of a personal quest to transform cancer care by empowering patients with integrative therapies and innovative treatment options. 

“Gateway is delighted to partner with Conquer Cancer Foundation to support young investigators,” said Teresa Hall Bartels, President of Gateway for Cancer Research. “We search to fund the most meaningful, breakthrough clinical trials worldwide, and we know that tremendous innovation can be realized by giving young scientists the initial boost they need.”

Integrative oncology has long been a hallmark of Gateway’s research focus, and the organization supports research into treatment interventions that maintain or improve quality of life for patients. Gateway-supported clinical trials endeavor to effectively tailor cancer treatment to the unique biology, environment, and needs of each patient. Gateway strives to allocate approximately 40% of its funding to complementary and alternative therapies, 40% to novel uses or combinations of existing drugs, and 20% to new drug discovery and therapy. 

Gateway’s research vision is to support phase I and phase II clinical trials that include people of all ages with any type of cancer, at any stage. Thanks to generous underwriting from CTCA, 99 cents of every dollar received by Gateway goes directly to clinical trials. Gateway has prioritized funding clinical trials to help close the gap between academic and clinical research, to address the slow pace and difficulty of transitioning from laboratory success to human clinical trials, and to help address the need arising from limited government funding for phase I and phase II clinical trials. As such, Gateway provides an alternate path to funding transformative research.

Gateway is unique in that the organization is willing to invest in high-risk, high-reward projects and take chances on innovators who “think outside the box.” Gateway accepts letters of intent from researchers throughout the year and uses a pay-per-patient model in which funding is awarded to researchers each time a patient is enrolled and treated on a study, thereby incentivizing researchers to pursue and enroll patients who may benefit from treatment.

“Gateway recognizes that the innovators of today were once the hungry, driven, and passionate young investigators of yesterday,” said Domarina Oshana, PhD, Director of Research and Grants at Gateway for Cancer Research. “There is a real need to support young investigators, particularly in the current funding environment, and to recognize that young investigators are the next generation of innovators."

Working toward their vision of shaping a world in which a cancer diagnosis is no longer feared, Gateway ensures that patients have a voice at every level of the organization, up to and including the Board of Directors. Gateway is keenly interested in lifting up the voice of patients and caregivers. Strong patient quality of life measures are recorded in all Gateway funded research, and grantees are encouraged to strongly consider the patient experience when designing clinical trials. Gateway acknowledges and deeply appreciates patient participation in clinical trials, and strives to create longstanding relationships with patients and caregivers by inviting their participation in videos and fundraising events, and through sharing stories about their experience and what they have overcome. 

2016 is a momentous year for Gateway as the organization celebrates its 25th anniversary. Special commemorative events include Gateway’s Annual Meeting in conjunction with a symposium at Columbia University in New York City on September 8-9, 2016, and Gateway’s annual CURES Gala on October 15, 2016, at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL. Gateway will announce the “Cancer Researcher of the Year” award during its Annual Meeting on September 8 and attendees will enjoy a presentation from the awardee during the symposium on September 9. Gateway welcomes ASCO members who live near New York City to attend the Annual Meeting, and especially encourages attendance at the symposium where they will have the opportunity to hear from past and present Gateway funded researchers.

Gateway also encourages ASCO Annual Meeting attendees, particularly those involved in clinical trials, to visit the Gateway for Cancer Research exhibit booth (#2025) in the Oncology Professionals Hall to discuss grant opportunities.

Visit the Gateway for Cancer Research website to learn more about clinical trials, submit a patient-centered research question, share a story, or apply for a grant. Find additional information about the Conquer Cancer Foundation online.

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