In 2014, Chuck and Char Fowler made a philanthropic pledge of $6.7 million to the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center to establish and develop the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Research Program to augment and complement the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals (UH) Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. This pledge injected critical support for research into cancers affecting adolescents and young adults, and will help to fund recruitment, pilot studies and transdisciplinary, multi-investigator research at a time when there is little NIH support for this sector.
The initiative, led by Drs. John Letterio and Stan Gerson, promotes basic understanding of the biology of the metastatic process and of therapy resistance in cancers that occur in this age group, and it also leverages expertise in imaging, drug development and other cross-institutional facets of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in relation to AYA cancers. An important program goal is to increase the opportunities for participation in the clinical trials process, as currently less than two percent of patients between the ages 15-30 are actively involved in clinical trials.
The support of the Fowlers and prioritization by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center of studies focused on cancers occurring in the 15-to-30 age range marks the first creation of an AYA-dedicated center within a NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. With cross-center collaboration, our hope is to make an impact on the prognosis for distinct cancers that affect the AYA population, such as Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma. These cancers, while rare in young individuals, are often highly metastatic with few or no curative treatments in advanced stages.
Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Research Awards
These one-year awards, made possible through the Fowler family's generous support of AYA cancer research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, are granted to members of the AYA Cancer Research Initiative. The objective of these awards is to broaden and deepen research focus on AYA cancers and to engage members across the Center in this important area. Click here to learn more.