Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 – 5:58 PM
Leaders in entertainment, politics, business and medicine will gather at Tower Cancer Research Foundation’s Tower of Hope Gala on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 to honor Lisa and Larry Rosenstein, Randi and Warren Grant, and Dr. Alan Wayne for their ongoing commitment to raising awareness about cancer, and their dedication to ending the disease. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at The Beverly Hilton.
All My Children’s Colin Egglesfield will present an award to Dr. Alan Wayne, and Erin Cummings, breast cancer survivor who garnered international visibility when she starred on the Starz flagship series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, will serve as emcee.
Several research grants will be awarded at the gala, including Tower’s first ever $1 million grant to a sole investigator, City of Hope’s Dr. Xiaochun Yu.
Dr. Yu is receiving the grant as part of Tower’s Power of Precision Campaign for his work focusing on ADP-ribosylation and cancer therapy. DNA is a cell’s genetic material. This work looks at the role of protein poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation in the cancer cell’s DNA repair response to chemotherapy that damages DNA. The most commonly used anti-cancer drugs for solid tumors, chemotherapies, stop DNA metabolism or cell division in growing cells, regardless of whether the cells are healthy or not. Long-term treatment with these anti-cancer drugs will therefore cause severe side effects and chemo-resistance. Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation is an unique change induced by DNA damage. Targeting this modification with drugs called PARP inhibitors suppresses DNA damage repair and selectively kills tumor cells with DNA damage repair defects in multiple types of cancer. This grant will explore how to use this weakness of cancer cells to target DNA damage repair pathways, and develop novel chemotherapeutic approaches.
Tower’s Power of Precision Campaign seeks to accelerate the pace of cancer research in molecular genetics and to promote translation of scientific advances into new life-saving therapies. The campaign is designed to raise funds for research to understand genetic molecular targets to further advance personalized and precision medicine for cancer care. Historically, cancer patients have been grouped by their organ or body part affected. When diagnosed, they usually received the same treatment as others who have same type and stage of cancer. After decades of research, scientists now understand that patients’ tumors have genetic changes that cause cancer to grow and spread. They have learned that the changes that occur in one person’s cancer may not occur in others who have the same type of cancer. Precision medicine targets the changes in cancer cells that help them grow, divide and spread. As researchers learn more about the cell changes that drive cancer, they are better able to design promising therapies that target these changes or block their effects.
Over the course of the last 20 years, Tower has raised more than $30 million, funding that supports a multitude of different scientific grants from one-year $100,000 Career Development Grants to five year $500,000 Senior Investigator Grants to $1,000,000 Multi-disciplinary Discovery Funds. Tower’s Discovery Fund encourages the pursuit of high-risk, high-reward research projects by providing scientists with funding upfront, thereby removing barriers to entry.
Tower’s patient support division, Magnolia House, is an integrative survivorship wellness center with programs offered at no cost to cancer survivors and their loved ones. Tower’s goal is to help participants develop a physical and emotional toolkit to manage the challenges of the disease. Magnolia House offers six-week classes for cancer survivors that address end-stage disease challenges, classes for cancer caregivers, cooking classes to develop a nutritional approach to cancer survival, and individually tailored experiences such as a one-on-one fitness training with a cancer-trained therapist. Tower also supports a variety of Southern California community partners who bring vital cancer programs to underserved populations throughout Los Angeles.
All of this year’s honorees share a commitment to stopping cancer and improving the lives of those effected by cancer.
• Lisa an d Larry Rosenstein met in Washington, D.C. in 1976 while Lisa worked teaching religious education and was a firector of Teacher Placement for the Bureau of Jewish Education. Larry had completed law school at the University of San Diego and moved to D.C. to serve as a legislative analyst for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on rules. They moved to California and were married in 1979. Lisa began her career in L.A.at the Stephen S. Wise Day School and is presently the founding Head of the Willows Community School, a Pre-K – Grade 8 co-educational independent private school in Culver City. Larry built his legal practice and specializes in Workers’ Compensation Law. Tower is a top priority for their philanthropy since Larry was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011. They realize the importance of cancer research, which together with the expertise of Larry’s physicians and nurses, led to Larry’s survival. Larry is member of the Board of Directors of Tower Cancer Research Foundation. Lisa and Larry hve two children, Abby and Michael, a son-in-law, Daniel, a future daughter-in-law, Erika and two granddaughters.
• Randi and Warren Grant have been married for 35 years and have three sons, Adam, Jason and Jordan. Warren is the president and founder of Grant, Tani, Barash & Altman LLC, a business management firm established in 1991. Warren graduated from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and is a CPA and registered financial advisor. After graduating from Cal State Northridge, Randi launched the company Design World. She has volunteered her interior design and events expertise as a Tower Magnolia Council member since 2011. She co-chaired Tower’s 2014 Spirit of Hope Luncheon and has hosted a number of Magnolia Council speaker programs. In addition to her design activities, Randi is now working in real estate investment and has taken on the leadership role of Magnolia Council Treasurer. Warren is an active member of the Water Buffalo Club, a local non-profit group of professionals who donate their time and resources to improve the lives of young children in the underserved communities of L.A. He is a past member of the American Heart Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Crohns & Colits Foundation, Magic Johnson Foundation among others. When she is not working with Tower, Randi is volunteering with organizations like Camp Hess Kramer, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and the Heart and Stroke Ward at Cedars.
• Alan S. Wayne, M.D., is the interim director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (NCCC), professor of pediatrics and medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, the director of the Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), and the head of the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation in the Department of Pediatrics. In these roles, he oversees all research, treatment, prevention and education programs in hematology, oncology and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation at NCCC and CHLA. Before joining USC in 2013, Dr. Wayne served as senior clinician and clinical director of the Pediatric Oncology Branch, head of the Hematologic Diseases section and deputy director for Medical Affairs of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health. Board-certified in pediatric hematology-oncology, Dr. Wayne attended medical school at Northwestern University and served his internship, residency and chief residency at Boston Children’s Hospital before completing his pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Wayne’s primary research efforts are directed toward the development of new treatment approaches for leukemias and lymphomas, with a primary focus on relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He was responsible for the bench-to-bedside development of anti-CD22 recombinant immunotoxin for the treatment of ALL and has an ongoing lead role in the development of genetically modified T-cells as a novel therapy for ALL.
Gala tickets may be purchased a thttps://www.towercancer.org/2018-gala-ticket-page/ or by calling 310-299-8477.