Milwaukee, Aug. 25, 2022 – The Paula & Rodger Riney Foundation is providing $5.9 million to the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) to advance new scientific and clinical discoveries in multiple myeloma research focused on immunotherapies and long-term survivorship among patients.
“We are pleased to partner with the MCW Cancer Center in our shared aspiration of finding a cure for multiple myeloma,” said Rodger Riney. “Since the establishment of the Foundation, we have sought out the most innovative work in the field, and we are very excited about the promise MCW’s research shows for treating this complex disease.”
For more than two decades, MCW has worked closely with healthcare partners to provide patients with research-based myeloma clinical care and access to some of the most pivotal cancer clinical trials and medical discoveries in the country. This includes critical findings in immune therapies – an approach that deploys the body’s natural immune defenses to slow the spread of cancer cells.
This investment by the Paula and Rodger Riney Foundation marks yet another significant gain in momentum for the MCW Cancer Center in the battle against cancer and ranks its efforts among other notable Foundation recipients including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Mass General Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic.
Along with MCW’s experience in leading and participating in first-in-human clinical trials, the institution is a major source for new discoveries in multiple myeloma and related cancers.
MCW was among the first institutions in the world to produce its own source of CAR T-cells designed to target two antigens on cancer tumors and provoke an immune response from the body. This work began in 2017 in a phase I clinical trial and resulted in safe and promising outcomes for patients with cancers of the immune system. It is now part of a multi-institution phase II trial to determine outcomes in a larger set of patients.
This investment by the Paula & Rodger Riney Foundation will support cancer research projects during the next two years and promote ongoing advancement of MCW’s work in immunotherapies to treat patients who are long-term survivors of myeloma.
“We are grateful for this transformative support from the Paula and Rodger Riney Foundation,” said Gustavo Leone, PhD, director of the MCW Cancer Center and the Dr. Glenn R. and Nancy A. Linnerson Endowed Chair for Cancer Research. “There has never been a more exciting time to be at the forefront of this pioneering research. The scientific advancements we will make with this gift will yield much needed benefits for generations of patients and families facing a diagnosis of multiple myeloma.”
Eric Conley, executive vice president of Froedtert Health and president of Froedtert Hospital, noted the impact the gift will have on clinical cancer care in the region and throughout Wisconsin. “The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network is an important source of innovative cancer treatments,” he said. “Our cancer researchers and clinical staff are among the finest in the country. This gift recognizes our collective efforts to ensuring all people have access to the best cancer treatments made possible by the latest scientific research.”