What a year this was! 2016 rang in the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation’s most exciting advances yet

This year, your support allowed us to advance research for a cure, contribute to patient and provider education, and fight for improved models of prevention, care and treatment. The highlights included features in Newsweek and the American Cancer Society, the third scientific conference on anal cancer, a speech on Capitol Hill, and the completion of the very first immunotherapy trial for metastatic anal cancer patients. This year, we also launched a shiny new website on World Cancer Day. With a wealth of new information and resources, we truly hope to be your go-to place for all things HPV and anal cancer. And it was all thanks to you! Our message remains that together we can end 5% of the world’s cancer.

The future of anal cancer treatment

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While immunotherapy research is in its infancy, we believe it holds promise for viral-initiated cancers like anal cancer, and are fighting to ensure you have access to these potential new drugs. That’s why we are taking action to spur creation of the first new drugs for anal cancer in 42 years.

We are excited to announce that the first Phase II study of the antibody Nivolumab in refractory metastatic anal squamous cell carcinoma patients was completed at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The hypothesis behind the study is that treatment with this antibody will awaken the immune system to more effectively and aggressively attack anal cancer. This study is a first step in achieving a potential new drug to help treatment-resistant anal cancer. The trial has completed its first phase and is awaiting approval to add a CTLA4 inhibitor which will allow further analysis of the most effective method of therapy. Read more about the results here.

Our multi-year initiative for novel HPV-related immunotherapy research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has completed its molecular research, and will be launching a clinical trial in 2017. This initiative is looking for new treatments for advanced staged HPV-related anal, cervical and oropharyngeal cancers and is co-supported by Stand Up To Cancer and the Farrah Fawcett Foundation.

New Audiences & avenues for awareness!

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We continue to collaborate with new partners and expand our advocacy in exciting directions! This year, Executive Director and co-founder Justine Almada spoke on Capitol Hill about the importance of the HPV vaccine for National Cancer Prevention Day, organized by Dr. Margaret Cuomo.

We also partnered with Fxck Cancer on the red carpet at New York’s Marquee Nightclub to end cancer! With DJs spinning, we got to let our hair down while offering partygoers information on how to “Protect, Detect, and Unite” against HPV and anal cancer.

In September, Justine shared her and her two co-founder siblings’ story of being a caregiver to their mother with the American Cancer Society, which is currently featured as part of the American Cancer Society’s efforts to raise awareness about the cancers caused by HPV.

The cherry on top? A feature in Newsweek! The article addressed the many obstacles faced by the anal cancer community and highlighted the work of the Foundation to fight them!

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Connecting with the professionals and beyond

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It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago there was no such thing as a medical society for doctors and researchers focused on anal cancer, and at the end of 2016, the International Anal Neoplasia Society held its third scientific meeting in San Francisco!

The very first grant from the Foundation co-created this society with the goal of serving as a platform for global experts in the anal cancer field to advance prevention and treatment research. The strength of these forged connections was in full display this year as the meeting had its largest and most vibrant attendance yet. Doug Lowy, Acting Director of the National Cancer Institute, gave the keynote speech, while scientists from across the globe presented on the exciting developments they are making in both prevention and treatment.

We were honored to organize the Thrivers in Action panel. Four intrepid thrivers spoke of their efforts to spread awareness of and help others with their anal cancer challenges. Read more about this panel on our blog! Every thriver contributes their own efforts to the fight to end anal cancer, and we thank not only our energized panel, but every member of our community — thrivers, professionals, caregivers, friends and family alike! — for their dedicated work.

fighting for equitable cancer prevention for all children

hpvaOur UK advocacy, spearheaded by HPV Action (HPVA), saw phenomenal momentum this year. In the UK, boys remain without access to the cancer protection provided by the HPV vaccine. MPs showed their growing support for gender-neutral HPV vaccination by holding a parliamentary debate in June to discuss the issue. In addition, HPV vaccination for boys was included as part of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer Inquiry as a result of our collaborative work. HPVA also organized a letter from 13 medical experts to the UK Secretary of State for Health urging him to expedite a decision to extend the national HPV vaccination program to include all adolescent boys. We continue to fight to ensure all children have the same access to cancer prevention programs.

supporting thrivers

IMG_8063Our trailblazing Peer Support Program continues to grow! The importance of this initiative is echoed in the feedback we continue to receive from participants. The program has opened up newly diagnosed thrivers — as well as people who started recovering from anal cancer years ago — to new resources, friends and support outlets that many did not know existed. Such connections often deepen into true friendships, with thrivers traveling to meet and support each other in person and sending gifts across the globe! Do you know someone who could benefit from connecting with others in the anal cancer community? To sign up for the program, register here.

new website, new resources!

websiteHave you noticed something different about us recently? This year, we launched a shiny new website on World Cancer Day. With a wealth of new information and resources, we truly hope to be your go-to place for all things HPV and anal cancer. Please give us your feedback on the new site — this is your resource and we want to make sure we are serving you as best as we possibly can.

please support our work!

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The work that we do advocating to end 5% of the world’s cancers is more important than ever.

As a public charity, we are solely funded through individual donations from our supporters like you. Please support our efforts to end 5% of the world’s cancer with an end-of-the-year contribution.

With a gift to the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation you are contributing to a worldwide effort to end anal cancer and HPV-associated malignancies for good. Thank you!

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Did you know that you can support the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation while you shop? When you shop through Amazon Smile and Kula, select the Foundation as your charity recipient, and the companies will donate part of every purchase you make!