Health Team

V Foundation to hold public cancer forum

Posted August 19, 2010 11:24 a.m. EDT
Updated August 19, 2010 6:38 p.m. EDT

— The V Foundation for Cancer Research has funded more than 400 cancer grants nationwide to 92 different institutions. They help promising young scholars get started in cancer research, and their largest grants go to some of the most promising research in the country.

All the annual sporting events and raffles to benefit the V Foundation attract celebrities and millions in donations. But the foundation's executive director, Nick Valvano, is especially interested in the public forum on Aug. 21 with the foundation's scientific advisory board, which recommends grant recipients.

“That's why we exist. We don't exist to have a golf tournament or wine event or basketball tournament. It's what we do with the money,” Valvano said.

The net proceeds from this weekend's events will fund research on melanoma – the most deadly form of skin cancer. Researchers are developing a vaccine to stimulate the body's immune system to fight the cancer.

Valvano says the funding may help bring a vaccine to patients sooner.

“They probably would have gotten to this vaccine, but maybe three years later than they did if we hadn't given them a little extra money,” he said.

Valvano says the success of the overall war on cancer is not measured in dollars, but in lives.

“We've got over 12 million survivors and many, many more living with cancer. And where 20 years ago they wouldn't be alive, now they're living with a quality of life,” he said.

The V Foundation is in the top 2 percent of all charities evaluated by the nation's largest charity watchdog, Charity Navigator. It's one of only a handful of organizations that can say that 100 percent of the money raised goes directly to support cancer research.

For more information about this weekend’s events, visit or call 1-800-4JimmyV (1-800-454-6698).