A primary goal of DamnCancer is to raise funds for research to help scientists better understand and effectively treat high-grade neuroendocrine cervical cancers. We have chosen to direct all donations collected through DamnCancer.com to a fund established at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for research into this rare cancer.
Current Research Efforts
Because of its rarity, studies of Small and Large Cell Cervical Cancer (S/LCCC) are very limited. Without metrics to correlate treatments with outcomes for these patients, oncologists must extrapolate learnings from other cancers and rely on educated guesses as to what therapies might work. As a result, patients must endure an array of toxic treatments without confidence that the regiment will work.
As a direct result of fundraising by the women affected by this disease and their supporters, an Institutional Review Board-approved tumor registry has been founded at M.D. Anderson. The purpose of the Neuroendocrine Cervical Tumor Registry (NECTuR) is to collect medical data on patients. Compiling this information is crucial for scientists to uncover patterns in how the disease behaves, and more importantly, what treatments are effective in fighting it. As of July, 2014, 70 women are included in the registry, and we hope to recruit other patients who have received this terrible diagnosis.
The Next Frontier
Chemotherapy, a primary treatment method employed by most oncologists, deploys medicines that kill cancerous and healthy cells alike, which causes many of the terrible side effects chemo patients endure. Radiation also has its drawbacks, particularly in the form of radiation damage that can appear years after treatment. What if science could identify targeted therapies that are effective and also avoid the “scorched earth” approach to treatment of S/LCCC by destroying the cancer while preserving healthy cells? The field of genetic analysis holds much promise in identifying mutations responsible for the rampant growth of S/LCCC cells. M.D. Anderson has received approval from the Institutional Review Board to begin this genetic testing for the purpose of identifying mutations for which future clinical trials can be developed.
How You Can Get Involved
If you are a patient who has been diagnosed with cervical cancer with a neuroendocrine component, including Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma, Large Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma or undifferentiated high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma, please sign up for the Neuroendocrine Tumor Registry. You can find out more about the simple process to enroll by visiting www.necervix.com, by emailing NECTuR@mdanderson.org or by calling (713) 745-1578.
Research is the key to saving lives, but it is expensive. Please consider making a donation to the S/LCCC research fund at M.D. Anderson. The Donate link will take you to a page where you can donate directly to the fund that supports our Neuroendocrine Tumor Registry and research efforts.*
*A note of caution: Please feel free to donate to the M.D. Anderson website directly, but please make sure your monies are directed to the Small Cell Cervical Cancer Fund if that is your wish. While a donation to M.D. Anderson would no doubt go to excellent use, funds that go to the larger organization will not be allocated to the fight against S/LCCC.