Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bladder Cancer Institute to Open at Hopkins

Approximately 75,000 people are diagnosed with urothelial cancer of the bladder each year.[1]  It is estimated that nearly 300,000 people are walking around right now with bladder cancer in a variety of stages and that the annual costs of bladder cancer care approach $4 billion in the United States.  However, bladder cancer receives very little media coverage, public attention and subsequently, little funding exists for bladder cancer research relative to other malignancies.  There is therefore a definite need for a focused, comprehensive research program to improve our understanding and treatment of bladder cancer.

To meet this need, Baltimore-area commercial real estate developer Erwin L. Greenberg and his wife Stephanie Cooper Greenberg have pledged a $15 million gift through the Erwin and Stephanie Greenberg Foundation to create the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute. Their gift is the largest bladder cancer research gift ever given to Johns Hopkins and is part of a $45 million co-investment with Johns Hopkins University that will support a multidisciplinary team from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.  Beneficiaries of the gift include faculty and researchers from the Brady Urological Institute, Departments of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, and Departments of Oncology, Pathology and Surgery.  Leaders of this team include:

Alan W. Partin, Director of the Brady
and Theodore DeWeese, Chair of
Radiation Oncology

According to Johns Hopkins officials, no other institution in the world houses a collaborative program with this expansive scope and intensive focus on bladder cancer. The Institute will begin formal operations in 2014.

William Nelson, MD, PhD
“We are so very grateful to the Greenbergs for this transformational gift, which supports our shared vision of saving lives with an institute dedicated to developing innovative research and treatments for bladder cancer patients,” says William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Kimmel Cancer Center.

“Bladder cancer is not as well-known among the general public as other cancers,” says Theodore R. DeWeese, M.D. “This new institute will provide needed resources to increase awareness, education, and new research and treatments related to this disease.”

Trinity J. Bivalacqua, MD, PhD, shares, "We have an incredible history and clinical experience at Hopkins treating many, many patients with bladder cancer.  We also participate in world-class research to improve our understanding and treatment of the disease.  With the start of the Greenberg Institute, we have the ability to be true world leaders in the treatment, research and delivery of care to the many patients with bladder cancer."

“Stephanie and I have been committed to cancer programs for many years. We recognize that there are many ways we could focus our resources but wanted to concentrate on one of the least supported cancers. We’re excited to be part of creating a comprehensive bladder cancer initiative that will bring new resources for patients and could ultimately save thousands of lives,” says Erwin Greenberg.

Portions of this blog, specifically quotes, were extracted from "$45 Million Co-Investment to Fund Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute" from Johns Hopkins Medicine.

May is national bladder cancer awareness month. Learn more about bladder cancer signs, symptoms and current treatment options at the Brady Urological Institute Website and from prior blog entries.

[1] American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2014. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2014.

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