Rosa DeLauro Will Speak at Discovery to Cure Gala: Benefits Research In Women's Reproductive Cancers

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D–CT) is scheduled to be a featured speaker at the second Yale Discovery to Cure Gala Benefit to raise support for and awareness of reproductive cancers in women, Saturday June 11 at 6 p.m. at Branford College, 74 High St.

“Discovery to Cure: Advancing Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment of Women’s Reproductive Cancers,” is a vital program of Yale Gynecologic Oncology, a section of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine. Discovery to Cure focuses on early detection, exceptional care and treatment, and development of novel therapies for ovarian and other gynecologic cancers.

The Gala committee members, including Governor Jodi Rell and DeLauro, are dedicated to raising support and consciousness for Yale’s efforts to identify women’s reproductive cancers in their earliest stages and to pioneer therapeutic strategies for the prevention and treatment of these diseases. Three hundred people are expected to attend the event.

In addition to an elegant dinner and entertainment, the evening will include a brief presentation on the Discovery to Cure program, a silent auction, music by Yale students and a souvenir journal. The Gala features tiered tables of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500, with individual tickets at $250 each.

Yale physicians and scientists have helped to advance the practice of modern medicine by pioneering viable new treatments for cancer patients currently in use today—From the creation of an early detection program for ovarian cancer in 1990 to the development of the latest drug to enhance combination chemotherapy for ovarian cancer patients whose cancer cells have become resistant to chemotherapy.

Researchers in the Section of Gynecologic Oncology at Yale have recently developed a blood test to distinguish healthy women from those with ovarian cancer, based on the levels of key proteins in the blood. They believe that any woman’s reproductive cancer can be cured if it is detected early enough. A major challenge with ovarian cancer is that three–quarters of patients do not display significant symptoms until the disease has spread to other parts of the body. The early detection component of Discovery to Cure seeks to screen women at greatest risk for developing ovarian and other gynecologic cancers.

Direct connection between the laboratory and the clinic is a unique aspect of the Discovery to Cure program. The program coordinates development of the latest clinical trials and new treatments for ovarian cancer patients. Some initiatives include:

Testing the delivery of chemotherapy locally to the tumor by injecting microscopic capsules into the tumor rather than delivering chemotherapy to the whole body intravenously; determining the intercellular pathway that explains the chemo–resistance response of the cancer cell; and developing a test to determine the variances in genes associated with ovarian cancer, similar to the current process used in identifying the BRCA 1 and 2 genetic mutations in breast cancer. Four clinical trials currently underway seek to determine the best use of Phenoxodiol (a drug developed by Discovery to Cure scientists that is known to unblock receptors vital to the destruction of cancer cells) in combination with various forms of combination chemotherapies.

“Beyond encouraging clinical trials, the next few years represent a tremendous opportunity for Yale to develop a pacesetting approach for the prevention and early detection of ovarian cancer as well as other cancers that affect women, such as breast, cervical and uterine cancer,” said Charles Lockwood, M.D., The Anita O’Keefe Young Professor of Women’s Health and Chair, Yale Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences. “The benefits for patients in our region and throughout the world are beyond measure.”

For information about the Discovery to Cure Gala, contact Chris Pates at 203–785–4761 or by email at christopher.pates@yale.edu

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Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326