2019 Willow18

The 2019 Willow18 was a great success! We had perfect weather and energized walkers! Thank you to all who came out to walk, volunteer, or cheer us on! We’re looking forward to next year where our walk will be even bigger and better!

And, of course, donations are still open. We thank you for your support!

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 willow names 2019 beneficiary

We’re excited to announce Willow’s 2019 beneficiary recipient. This year, we’re partnering with the Lee Jones Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY. Dr. Jones focuses his research on the efficacy and mechanisms of exercise training on tumor initiation and progression. With Willow’s $20,000 grant, Dr. Lee Jones, Chief, Exercise-Oncology Service, and Dr. Neil Iyengar, MD, an investigator in Exercise-Oncology Service and the Breast Medicine Service will conduct a study that hopes to answer this question: How does participation in exercise alter the progression of disease in women with newly diagnosed metastatic breast cancer? The results of this research will help close a major knowledge gap regarding whether and how exercise alters the biology of breast cancer, allowing practitioners to prescribe exercise that can make a difference in overall survival for metastatic patients.


Willow-Funded Preliminary Research Yields Promising Data about Nutrition and Cancer

Willow's 2018 beneficiary, Dr. Nicole Simone, has made promising strides in the field of cancer research. She and her team have determined that changing your diet improves breast cancer outcomes. What if your physician could prescribe the ideal diet based on your cancer? Although diets have been used in clinical trials with breast cancer, for the first time, Dr. Simone and her team aim to understand how diet can change breast cancer at the molecular level to affect positive changes in a patient's outcome. 

Preliminary results have identified micro-RNA-21 to be correlated to breast cancer progression and metastasis. By some estimates, miR-21 can be linked to 15-20% of cancer deaths worldwide. Dr. Simone's research has determined six foods, spices and minerals that decreases miR-21: Magnesium, Vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Zinc. Additionally, her research suggests that Iron, Carbohydrates, Vitamin B12 and Total Fat may increase miR-21. 

Her team's next steps include synthesizing metastatic cancer tissues into organoids and exposing them to nutritional panels to determine the effect on tumor cell proliferation. Should they succeed, they will seek to recruit patients for a clinical trial to utilize precision nutrition to improve cancer outcomes for metastatic cancer patients.

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