RGI Cancer Research 2010 Achievements

Sharing Progress with the Royal Dames of Cancer Research

At the Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research (RGI), scientists conduct groundbreaking research to change lives threatened by cancer. The Royal Dames of Cancer Research. is one of the private organizations which contribute to this work.

Research to cure and treat cancer requires powerful and expensive equipment. Executive Director, Appu Rathinavelu, PhD, started modernizing RGI laboratories 3 years ago. He reports advancements and progress to the Royal Dames and other donors whose contributions make research possible.

Below are significant RGI 2010 achievements Dr. Rathinavelu was grateful to share with the Royal Dames of Cancer Research:

New Cancer Drugs

RGI filed patent applications for two new cancer therapeutics. The new therapeutic agents are designed to starve cancer and shrink it by stopping blood circulation to the cancer growth. These new drugs are expected to help breast, prostate and ovarian cancer patients.

Findings to Improve Treatment

The Journal of Medicinal Food is publishing RGI findings. RGI's researched substances which naturally occur in food such as Genestein and Resveratrol. Genestrein is found in soy based foods such as tofu. Resveratrol is found in grapes and grape products. The results are good news for cancer patients.

RGI research shows that sufficient quantities of these products assist cancer drugs. To improve the curative effects of chemotherapy, cancer patients can supplement treatments with natural products tested by RGI.

Partnerships to Expand Research

RGI established collaboration with Florida International University Scientists in order to identify anticancer compounds from bacteria that grow in the Everglades. RGI established collaboration with Florida Atlantic University scientists to study the effects of plant-derived natural products.

Training New Researchers

RGI trains undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. In 2010, sixteen students learned how to use modern equipment in order to conduct cutting edge research. Educational experiences recruit new scientists for cancer research.

RGI Conducts Both Basic and Applied Research

Many research centers focus only on applied research. The Royal Dames support RGI because the institute conducts basic research as well as applied cancer research. Dr. Rathinavelu explains how RGI does both.

Dr. Rathinavelu says current treatments attack cancer but have serious side effects on patients health. RGI's applied research projects focus on strengthening the curative qualities of cancer drugs and reducing damaging effects for cancer patients.

Dr. Rathinavelu says RGI's basic research projects focus on identifying gene defects that cause cancer. "We are looking for a cluster of genes which work together and make cancer become very agressive." To find a cure, scientists will target the cluster to find how and why it causes cancer.

Scientists make slow but steady progress with faith that research can and will yield the cure. This goal is what inspires organizations like the Royal Dames of Cancer Research.

"Man is not destined to die of cancer!"

Marietta Glazer, RN, PhD, has served as president of the Royal Dames of Cancer Research. She says being a Royal Dame helps many members cope with sadness, frustration and loss caused by cancer. Career experiences are part of her story.

Dr. Glazer recalls patients going through numerous surgeries just for a chance to raise their children. Ovarian and colon cancers can appear without warning. She saw too many young patients and their families fight and lose.

"I worked in the hospital for 30 years, and the worst nightmares that you could ever imagine, I took care of." She was a nurse, and then got a degree in psychology and health administration searching for ways to "make it better."

Dr. Glazer says, "The best you can do is listen and try to raise funds for research to eliminate this horrible disease."

Since RGI merged with Nova Southeastern University in 2005, the Royal Dames have raised and contributed over $1 million to support both basic and applied cancer research. Dr. Rathinavelu explains areas of research.

The Tiara Ball is the main annual fundraising event presented by the Royal Dames of Cancer Research, but only one of many ways Royal Dames support a community devoted to finding a cure. The invitation to join Royal Dames comes to those whose service to the cause merits recognition.

Royal Dame Nell McMillan Lewis, Ed.D. says the official motto of the Royal Dames, "Man is not destined to die of cancer!" was originally used by researcher Dr. Joel Warren who was a tireless recruiter of supporters. It is a belief upheld by the active partnerships between the donors and NSU administration of today.

Dr. Rathinevelu says revitalized efforts supported by the President and the Chancellor of NSU contribute to an overall increase in research accomplishments at RGI since the merger. Academic collaboration attracts grants, and excellent staff, but to ensure scientists have the right tools and facilities, the generosity of donors is vital for the mission to find a cure.