Debi & Gary Fournier Cervical Cancer Research Fund

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Fournier Teal-Ribbon-182x272-opaqueThere is no cure for cervical cancer…yet!

Making that statement a thing of the past is the goal of pioneering research now underway at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center / Translational Oncology Research Lab. Thanks to the combined efforts of the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation and a research fund provided by Debi & Gary Fournier, cervical cancer cell lines from around the globe are being collected and studied in order to expand our understanding of this disease and allow new therapies to be developed. 

Over 500,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year worldwide, and there are more than 250,000 deaths that result from this disease annually.  It is the fourth most common cancer in women overall.  Most cases are caused by a virus that is sexually transmitted called human papillomavirus (HPV). Although there are over 100 different varieties of HPV causing about 14 million new infections each year, the most common viruses that lead to cervical cancers are HPV 16 and HPV 18. A PAP test during gynecological screening can usually catch abnormalities early. Most women’s bodies are able to fight this infection, but the immune system in others cannot do so—believed to be for genetic reasons. As with breast cancer, it appears that there are many different types of cervical cancer, and the treatment for each one needs to be specifically targeted for successful eradication. This knowledge is the ultimate goal of our research. To read more about cervical cancer, please click here.

Debi Fournier was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2011 and it metastasized to her lungs within a couple of years. During her cancer journey (see Debi’s Cancer Story via link below), she was surprised and dismayed at the outdated treatments and limited resources available to women with this disease, particularly when compared to other types of cancer. While undergoing immune therapy at UCLA, Debi asked her oncologist, Dr. Gottfried Konecny, how one might fund research into cervical cancer. She was directed to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) public benefit corporation that exists for the express purpose of raising and distributing funds to support multi-disciplinary research efforts focused on rapidly translating discoveries made in the laboratory into improved cancer screening, treatment and prevention.

When the Fourniers found out that over 90 cents of every dollar donated to their fund through the JCCF would go directly to research, they knew they had found the right place to assist them in their mission to cure cervical cancer. Under the direction of Dr. Gottfried Konecny, who agreed to be the Principal Investigator (see his bio via link below), along with the assistance of Dr. Maira Campos, they feel confident that this research is money well spent.

Although it is unlikely that a cure will be discovered in time to directly benefit Debi, the Fourniers consider it a true honor that they might make a difference in the lives of women diagnosed with cervical cancer in the future. The goal is to raise $250,000 to accelerate the pace of this vital research. Please help them to achieve this mission by donating to the Debi & Gary Fournier Cervical Cancer Research Fund today. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

  •  Read Debi Fournier's Cancer Story here.

  •  Learn about Dr. Gottfried Konecny here.

  •  Read about the Debi & Gary Translational Research Program for Cervical Cancer here.

  •  For information about the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, please click here.

  • You can donate online here or mail a check to:
         Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation (JCCF)
         8-950 Factor Bldg
         Box 951780
         Los Angeles CA 90095-1780
     
  • Please make your check payable to Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation and include a note indicating your gift is for the Fournier Fund.
     
  • The staff at the JCCF is happy to answer any questions you may have at (310) 206-0675 or jccfinfo@mednet.ucla.edu.

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