NETRF Seed Funding Helps Grow the Field

Two NETRF-funded researchers received Career Development Awards at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), one of the largest and most respected gatherings of physicians in the field of oncology. The awards, offered by ASCO’s Conquer Cancer Foundation, fund three years of research on patient-focused topics.

Award Winners

Daniel Halperin, MD

MD Anderson Cancer Center
“Harnessing the Immune System in Neuroendocrine Tumors”


Nitya Raj, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
“Mutational landscape of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors—therapeutic implications of genetic evolution over time and therapy”


“Our hope is always that NETRF funding helps pave the way for subsequent funding by organizations, institutions, or government agencies,” said Elyse Gellerman, NETRF Chief Executive Officer. “We hope to get promising projects with transformational potential off the ground. These two Career Development Awards affirm our selection of topics and investigators.”

NETRF’s grant support of Raj and Halperin occurred in the last two years. Halperin received a 2016 grant on the immune profiling of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Raj received a 2017 Pilot Project to evaluate the role of liquid biopsy in the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

“The data gathered by these researchers during their NETRF grants played a pivotal role in competing for these prestigious grants, which will help to further the work started with NETRF,” said Effie Tzameli, PhD, NETRF Director of Research. “Each discovered information warranting further study. In this way NETRF’s funding provides proof of concept funding.”

NETRF’s funding of research conducted by investigators like Halperin and Raj is made possible by generous gifts from individuals, families, and private foundations.

“Donors want to know that their gift is leveraged, that it can open up additional funding streams that expand overall research of NETs,” said Susan Payson, NETRF Chief Development Officer. “This is a truly a win-win for the researchers, the donors, and NETRF.”