For 28 years, the Ride for Roswell has been raising money to support cancer patients and to find cures for cancer. This year over 8,000 people participated in the Ride which has so far raised 5.6 million dollars. Doran and Murphy has been participating in the Ride for the better part of two decades. Doran and Murphy founder Michael H. Doran was a huge supporter of the Ride, raising money and awareness for this important cause. After his death in 2008, the torch was picked up by his brother and former Doran and Murphy employee Thomas Doran and Doran and Murphy senior partner, Christopher Murphy. This year their team, Mike’s Rough Riders, named in honor of Michael Doran, raised over five thousand dollars for the Ride.
The Ride supports individuals with many different types of cancer. From lung cancers to blood cancers to throat, bladder, and esophageal cancers, funding from the Ride goes to support cancer patients. This includes transportation costs, Quality-of-Life grants, and home care. Cancer is a full-time job. Its costs are physical, emotional, and financial. Funds raised from the Ride go towards alleviating some of these costs.
In addition to patient support, the Ride for Roswell is about finding cures for cancer. And not only cures, but real, new treatments that can extend the lives of cancer patients and improve the quality of that life. Ride funds go to a variety of emerging new cancer therapies and treatments. One of these cutting-edge therapies is CAR T cell cancer treatment. CAR T cell therapy is a form of immunotherapy that activates the body’s T cell response. T cells are important cancer fighters in the body’s immune system. CAR T cell therapy literally makes more T cells to fight cancer. This therapy may work after other, more traditional cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, have failed. It has the potential to extend the lives of cancer patients where other therapy options have been exhausted. This type of treatment is approved for use in many blood cancers including, lymphomas, leukemias and multiple myelomas. However, one big factor in this type of treatment is cost. The price tag for CAR T cell therapy is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single patient. This is one place the Ride for Roswell fundraising efforts pay off. Through funding for new clinical trials, the treatment can be provided to patients to whom it would not have been available, resulting in longer lives and better quality of life outcomes.
Ride funding also goes towards research on new cancer vaccines. Sur VaxM is a cancer vaccine that was first studied at Roswell Park and is now used at cancer centers across the nation. This is another immunotherapy treatment used particularly in cases of brain cancer and multiple myeloma. The vaccine targets a specific part of the immune system that attacks cancer cells and slows their growth. In clinical trials, this treatment has been found to double the survival time in patients with glioblastomas. The vaccine is also being studied to treat other forms of cancer including lung cancer and gastro-intestinal tumors. Funding from the Ride for Roswell has been used to support the development of cancer vaccines like Sur VaxM. Money raised has gone to offset the huge costs of developing and conducting clinical trial research on these new treatments.