The Donald L. Perry Foundation For Cancer Research, Inc. is named in honor of the late Donald L. Perry, who lost his battle with cancer at the young age of 40. Don was raised in Woodbury, New Jersey and spent summers at his family home in North Wildwood. He eventually became a permanent resident of North Wildwood and worked in the restaurant business in Cape May.

The mission of the Donald L. Perry Foundation is to make his dream a reality and keep hope alive for those stricken with cancer by funding research programs that offer new treatment options.

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PDT Research The mission of the Donald L. Perry Foundation is to fund new and innovative research programs, which offer treatment options for cancer patients. Since 2004, the foundation has been funding some very exciting research being conducted at Presbyterian Medical Center at the University of Pennsylvania, involving Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) or “light therapy” techniques. The  focus has been on using this therapy to treat late stage lung cancer patients for whom few, if any, viable treatment options exist. Early clinical trials have resulted in the average survival rates of these patients rising from 6 – 9 months to 22 months.

The therapy involves injecting the patient with a non-toxic agent called Photofrin prior to surgery, which causes the cancer cells to become sensitive to light. A laser , purchased by the Donald Perry Foundation is then used on these cells killing the cancer, while limiting the damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Surgery alone would not provide these dramatic results since microscopic tumor cells would still remain after surgery. Over the past year, researchers have broadened the scope of this research to include the use of rare earth phosphors, which are non-toxic minerals that can be enhanced to absorb light at varying wavelengths. They are used in combination with PDT therapy as a potential treatment for other difficult to reach cancers such as head, neck, spine and abdominal cancers. This next phase of research is in the early stages and Presbyterian’s researchers are working in collaboration with researchers at Princeton University, Rutgers University, Roswell Park Cancer Center, Ohio State University and a PDT treatment center in Taiwan.

Penn Mesothelioma & Pleural Diseases Program is a multidisciplinary center at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center,dedicated to providing the best treatments for patients with mesothelioma and other pleural diseases. Dr. Joseph Friedberg is part of this team of experts, treating patients from around the world.

Cancer Researcher Joseph S. Friedberg, MD

friedberg_photoDr. Joseph S. Friedberg is currently the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Presbyterian Medical Center at The University of Pennsylvania. He graduated cum laud from Harvard Medical School. His surgical internship and residency were completed at Massachusetts General Hospital and his fellowship in cardio-thoracic surgery was completed at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.   Dr. Friedberg is a member of several professional and scientific societies including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association of Thoracic Surgeons and the Society of Surgical Oncology. Dr. Friedberg has conducted numerous lectures on topics such as advanced surgical techniques for lung cancer, research in thoracic surgery and photodynamic treatment. Dr. Friedberg has also been published in many professional medical journals and has had several papers accepted for presentation at noted medical conferences. He has been voted by his peers as one of Philadelphia’s “top doctors” .

Thyroid Cancer Research

Dr. Marcia Brose
Marcia Brose is Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA, in both the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery and Medicine (Division of Hematology and Oncology). She received her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College and her PhD from the Rockefeller University, New York, USA. Dr Brose completed her specialty training in internal medicine, hematology and oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, before pursuing post-doctoral training in cancer genetics in the laboratory of Barbara Weber MD. She was then appointed as a faculty member at her current institution and concentrated her research on the genetics of head and neck cancers, with a particular focus on thyroid cancer.

Research (Continued)
Dr. Brose is at the forefront of translational medicine and thyroid cancer research, working with the department of Otorhinolaryngology and the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Her team of dedicated and highly trained physicians, scientists, research specialists and data managers are devoted to pursuing the highest quality clinical care and research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of people with thyroid cancer. The group pursues the immediate application of advances in scientific knowledge from lab work and from new literature to patient care in the clinic. Dr. Brose’s ultimate aim is to directly improve diagnostic approaches and expand and advance novel treatments for patients with thyroid cancer at all stages.

Dr. Brose is currently focused on clinical trials at Penn which she designed herself and in the context of consortiums with colleagues from other institutions to improve the diagnosis and treatment of people with advanced thyroid cancer through the identification of novel treatments. She runs her own program on thyroid cancer therapeutics, and is the Principal Investigator of six phase I/II and III clinical trials.

Her Phase II trial using targeted therapy with sorafenib (BAYER/ONYX) to treat patients that have failed treatment for advanced thyroid cancer  have been extremely positive and has lead to an international, multicentered phase III trial of this agent for which she is again a Principle Investigator. Her results have shown slowing or stabilization of the disease in over 75% of participants for up to 25 months. The results of this Phase II trial are the first significant advance for the treatment of patients with advanced thyroid cancer in over 30 years. Dr Brose is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research, the American Head and Neck Society and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. She has received several prestigious awards, including the Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator award and the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation Research Scholar Award.