Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Announces Major Research Program at Annual Scientific Meeting

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BCAN receives lead gift and challenge grant to start new Awards program supporting the development of outstanding research scientists and clinical cancer investigators

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“Our gift will build on the efforts of previous researchers, and help a new generation of scientists find cures and treatments for this neglected disease." - Gerald McNamara

The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) announced that it has received a $250,000 challenge grant from the Gerald C. McNamara and Renée K. Petrofes Charitable Fund to encourage outstanding young researchers to focus on bladder cancer research.

The announcement was made on the opening day of BCAN’s Annual Bladder Cancer Think Tank held in Stowe, Vermont from August 9 – 12. This is the seventh year of this invitation-only scientific meeting where over 120 of the country’s leading oncologists, urologists, pathologists, researchers and other science experts meet to discuss the future of bladder cancer research.
Mr. McNamara was diagnosed with bladder cancer over three years ago, and at the time was surprised by how little funding there was for bladder cancer research. “BCAN has been an important resource for me, and I have been impressed by their efforts to boost bladder cancer research funding. Our gift will build on the efforts of previous researchers, and help a new generation of scientists find cures and treatments for this neglected disease.” Mr. McNamara is being treated at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City by Dr. James McKiernan, the George Cahill Professor of Urology and Director of Urologic Oncology, and his team of fellow physicians and medical professionals.

BCAN’s new Young Investigator Awards are intended to support the development of outstanding research scientists and clinical cancer research investigators who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the understanding and treatment of bladder cancer. Investigators may be working in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiologic, bioengineering or any other field, but must be working in a research environment capable of supporting transformational bladder cancer research. Each Young Investigator Award will be for $100,000 over a two-year period.
Gerry and Renée’s hope is that with BCAN’s successful fund raising efforts, their grant will generate over $500,000 to support young researchers selected through a competitive proposal process and rigorous review by a national panel. It is anticipated that the new awards program will begin in January of 2013.

BCAN began supporting bladder cancer research in 2010 with an annual $25,000 grant for young physicians and scientists. The Raymond and Maria Floyd Award for Bladder Cancer Research supports research efforts to help those who have been profoundly affected by bladder cancer, the nation’s 6th most common form of cancer.
BCAN’s continued commitment to research is demonstrated though its annual Bladder Cancer Think Tank meeting, which focused this year on creating opportunities for collaboration among basic scientists, practitioners, advocates, and industry partners to identify obstacles and create solutions for two of bladder cancer’s basic problems: early detection and treatment of advanced disease.

About the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network
The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN – pronounced beacon) was created in May 2005 as the first national non-profit patient-based advocacy organization for bladder cancer. BCAN’s mission is to increase public awareness about bladder cancer, advance bladder cancer research, and provide educational and support services for the bladder cancer community. BCAN is a national collaborative effort among bladder cancer survivors, their loved ones, and the medical community. For more information on BCAN, please visit the web site at http://www.bcan.org or call 888-901-BCAN.

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Lawrence Rzepka
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