Shrewsbury – A fund-raiser in Shrewsbury Saturday, Dec. 4 aims to raise $150,000 for a new nonprofit organization that wants to raise awareness about an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer. The eff ort is being spearheaded by Corrie Painter, an Oxford resident, graduate student and biochemist at UMass Medical School in Worcester.
Painter was diagnosed with primary angiosarcoma of the breast earlier this year and has vowed to fight it while also bringing more attention to the disease. Angiosarcoma, which starts in the lining of the blood vessels, has a poor long-term prognosis and is diagnosed in only approximately 300 people yearly. Because it accounts for just 0.1 percent of adult malignancies, the disease is poorly understood and has not received the kind of research attention that many other kinds of cancers have garnered.
But Painter plans to change that. She and partner, Lauren Ryan, who is also battling primary angiosarcoma of the breast, have launched Angiosarcoma Awareness Inc. with the mission of increasing knowledge and money for research on this condition.
“We will identify laboratories that are currently conducting research on angiosarcoma and raise funds to support and augment their work,” according to the foundation’s website. “Our hope is to fund research that will reveal the molecular underpinnings of the disease, which might help tailor individual therapies.”
Painter has already begun reviewing the work of many labs that have published reports about angiosarcoma research. She has focused on laboratories that are already well established and which have an existing expertise in that type of cancer’s research. The organizations have also negotiated a contract with one lab at Memorial Sloan- Kettering in New York City.
Painter, a mother of two young girls ages 3 and 5, hopes the foundation will raise $150,000 in its first year. The fund-raiser Dec. 4 will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at the Italian American Victory Club in Shrewsbury.