Who We Support

The mission of The Woiner Foundation is to fight melanoma and pancreatic cancer by increasing awareness, supporting patients, survivors and families and fundraising for research.  The following organizations will be directly supported thanks to your generous donations and fundraising efforts:

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Melanoma & Skin Cancer Program

The UPCI Melanoma & Skin Cancer Program is directed by Dr. John Kirkwood.  Dr. Kirkwood is a world-renowned leader in the fight against melanoma.  He works closely with The Woiner Foundation and is a member of the development team for our main fundraiser, the 3-2-1 Ride.

Statement from Dr. John Kirkwood:

“The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute has more than 20 faculty researchers who are focused on melanoma in the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program, and is leading multiple local, national and international studies that are advancing new therapies.

This includes treatments for advanced melanoma that cannot be operated upon surgically for cure; immunotherapies that strengthen the immune response to melanoma that may have been weakened by the signals from the melanoma itself; and chemotherapies that are in common use for other cancers, but have been eclipsed by the dramatic benefits of molecularly targeted therapies and immunotherapies that have emerged from our research in the past two years.

We are leading treatments that are given at or before the time of surgery for patients with melanomas that have features which suggest a higher risk of recurrence despite surgery.  Adjuvant therapy with IFN was developed and received FDA approval on the basis of UPCI-led studies.

We are also now pioneering new nutritional therapies with an agent known as sulforaphane that may prevent the march of melanoma from its precursors in the skin.

Finally, we are training, and the support from The Woiner Foundation allows us to bring forward new investigators who are the future of melanoma research, prevention, and treatment. Our trainees are now running melanoma programs from Minnesota and New Hampshire to Indiana, North Carolina, Florida and many other places in the U.S. as well as in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.”

Alliance of Families Fighting Pancreatic Cancer

The Alliance of Families Fighting Pancreatic Cancer (AFFPC) is a partnership of grass-roots foundations and families across the country unified in the quest to defeat pancreatic cancer. All organizations involved with AFFPC maintain their autonomy while sharing resources and ideas with the Alliance. All are welcome to join our fight, including large organizations, small foundations, families or individuals.

The Alliance supports the research of Dr. A James Moser.  Dr. Moser recently joined the Division of Surgical Oncology in the Roberta and Stephen R. Weiner Department of Surgery as Executive Director of the new Institute for Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  As Executive Director, Moser provides leadership, strategic vision and integration of programs in general surgery, surgical oncology and transplant surgery that are focused on the surgical treatment of benign and malignant pancreatic, hepatic and biliary diseases.  He has advanced surgical training and is a leader in complex, advanced robotic and minimally-invasive surgical oncology including pancreatic auto-islet transplantation.

The goals of the AFFPC are:

  • Focus on patient-centered treatment planning and quality of care for all stages of pancreatic cancer.
  • Encourage the end to “one-size-fits-all” decisions about pancreatic cancer treatment.
  • Promote involving patients in meaningful decision-making by ensuring they have all the information and tools needed to understand their best choices.
  • Support the creation of the first-ever clinical biomarker to diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer.
  • Work to improve attitudes about pancreatic cancer and treatment possibilities among primary care providers, specialists and other healthcare professionals which enables patients and families to take constructive action.
  • Help and support innovative research that can change expectations, approaches and outcomes for pancreatic cancer.

Learn more about the research projects your funding helps to support.