When 3,000 participants lineup Saturday for the 15th annual Sprint for Life 5K Run/Walk and Sprint for Sprouts Kids' Run they'll take thousands of strides to carry ovarian cancer research forward.
The race supports the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, which provides crucial funding for common resources, such as a tumor bank, and for grants to launch cutting-edge research ideas that need initial help to develop into full-blown projects.
On the video below, Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program Director Anil Sood, M.D., discusses one such project, which led to the discovery of an important connection between high blood platelet levels and the severity of ovarian cancer, that was supported by the program.
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers. This year, about 22,000 women will receive diagnoses of ovarian cancer, and about 15,000 women will die of the disease. There is no screening or early detection test available. Symptoms are subtle, and only 25% of ovarian cancer tumors are detected in the early stages.
"Funding from Sprint for Life enables us to continue desperately needed research to change these dismal numbers and make significant strides in eradicating ovarian cancer," Sood says.
"The new ideas and approaches that we need to make substantial progress in ovarian cancer require preliminary data before they can go on to achieve research funding from the National Institutes of Health and other agencies," Sood says. "Philanthropic support provides critical funding to gather that initial information to launch major programs."
For example, the Blanton-Davis program each year funds one or two $50,000 seed grants for investigators to cultivate data to apply for long-term funding for their ideas.
Since 1998, Sprint for Life has raised more than $3.2 million. The event was founded by Judith Wolf, M.D., former director of the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program, and the late Laura Lee Scurlock Blanton and Sandra G. Davis, for whom the program is named.
Online registration is open through Thursday, May 2. Visit www.sprintforlife.com for information on the event and how to register.
For more information, call 713-792-2765 or visit www.facebook.com/sprintforlife
MD Anderson Sprint for Life news release