Tony Martell Speaks from the Heart on the Important Success of Breakthrough Research in Childhood Leukemia

MULTI-PLATINUM SELLING BAND DNCE CLOSES OUT THE 41ST ANNUAL NEW YORK HONORS GALA WITH AMAZING PERFORMANCE

The T.J. Martell Foundation Annual New York Honors Gala was held this week at Guastavino’s on 59th Street. The sold-out, highly-anticipated gala is held every year as a fundraiser for the foundation’s important work in cancer research. Last night was attended by stars of music and sports, New York’s most influential industry executives and important leaders in medicine.  The event was sponsored by Barclays Center and raised  $1.3 million  for leukemia, cancer and AIDs research.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18:  Tony Martell, Founder and Chairman, speaks on stage during T.J. Martell Foundation's 41st Annual Honors Gala at Gustavino's on October 18, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for TJ Martell Foundation)

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 18: Tony Martell, Founder and Chairman, speaks on stage during T.J. Martell Foundation’s 41st Annual Honors Gala at Gustavino’s on October 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for TJ Martell Foundation)

Tony Martell, the founder of the T.J. Martell Foundation spoke passionately from the stage as he officially opened the night. Having devoted his life to finding a cure for cancer, he announced how the foundation played a pivotal role in the recent news that leukemia is no longer the number one killer in childhood diseases. “We have some big news tonight that I am about to tell you,” said Martell,  after he welcomed the crowd. Since the 1970s, the T.J. Martell Foundation has provided funding for the research that has directly resulted in this significant medical announcement. In fact, the T.J. Martell Foundation can claim that they were among the first and most consistent supporters of this critical research that will save millions of children’s lives.  Along with the American Cancer Society and others, it was the T.J. Martell Foundation, Tony Martell and the team led by Dr. Jim Holland, who paved the way for children to beat ALL, or what is clinically known as Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. “It’s mind-boggling,” said Martell as he celebrated the lives of children that will be saved by this discovery and 41 years of never giving up on a promise he made to his son, T.J. in the hospital years ago to do whatever he can to find a cure.

Without funding from the T.J. Martell Foundation, the immunotherapy treatment responsible for such an important announcement could not have been discovered.  The treatment, called CAR T-cell therapy is the immunotherapy that rally’s the body’s own defenses to fight the cancer.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18:  CEO, Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment Brett Yormark accepts his Visionary Leadership award from Danny Jacobs during T.J. Martell Foundation's 41st Annual Honors Gala at Gustavino's on October 18, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for TJ Martell Foundation)

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 18: CEO, Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment Brett Yormark accepts his Visionary Leadership award from Danny Jacobs during T.J. Martell Foundation’s 41st Annual Honors Gala at Gustavino’s on October 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for TJ Martell Foundation)

Unlike other cancer advances, it has proven already to be stunningly effective in children and most common pediatric cancers. In many trials, many pediatric patients who had repeatedly relapsed saw their leukemia disappear. “We are making huge advances in research and the cure,” Martell added.

The gala was attended by stars of music and sports including actor Vincent Piazza (The Jersey Boys), WBA Middleweight Pro Boxer Danny Jacobs and players from the Brooklyn Nets including Randy Foye,  Isaiah Whitehead and Caris LeVert. Honorees Mitchell C. Benson, M.D., Herbert and Florence Irving Professor of Urology at Columbia University Medical Center, Russell Wallach, Live Nation President, Media and Sponsorships and Brett Yormark, CEO, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment spoke about the importance of the T.J. Martell Foundation’s work as they each accepted awards.

 

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18:  DNCE performs at T.J. Martell Foundation's 41st Annual Honors Gala at Gustavino's on October 18, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for TJ Martell Foundation)

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 18: DNCE performs at T.J. Martell Foundation’s 41st Annual Honors Gala at Gustavino’s on October 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for TJ Martell Foundation)

At 8:30 p.m., multi-platinum selling band DNCE closed out the night with a set that literally had the room shaking, guests dancing and an energy that could only be described as electric.  The band performed “Pay My Rent,” “DNCE,” “Toothbrush,” “Body Moves” (their new single off of their self-titled debut album to release Nov 18) and “Cake by the Ocean.” They left the stage to the music of Queen’s “We are the Champions” giving one last  reminder that the T.J.  Martell Foundation is indeed the champion as “Music’s Promise for a Cure.”

Presenters for the evening were Dr. Ronda Bixon, MD, Record Executive Ron Lafitte,  Republic Records Group President Charlie Walk, radio personality Craig Carton and Good Day New York’s Roseanna Scotto.
Additional images from the T.J. Martell Foundation 41st New York Honors Gala can be found at www.gettyimages.com.

 

 

All photo credits: Courtesy T.J. Martell Foundation

  

In Honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

unnamedIn honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the T.J. Martell Foundation and all its supporters on behalf of the physicians, researchers and patients at the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases (CCCBD) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).

For over two decades, the T.J. Martell Foundation has been a generous partner in the cancer research taking place at CHLA. In that time, the cure rates for childhood cancers have steadily increased due to research and improvements in treatment.

Seed funding from the T.J. Martell Foundation has helped our investigators perform initial work that has led to obtaining additional peer-reviewed research grants from the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Defense, and other foundations. Thus, leveraging funding from the T.J. Martell Foundation serves to further advance pediatric cancer research at CHLA.

Thirty years ago, neuroblastoma, a deadly form of cancer in young children, had a survival rate of less than 15% for those with the high-risk form of the disease. The T.J Martell Foundation has supported Dr. Robert Seeger’s field advancing investigations in this area and now the cure rate has increased to 45%. Drs. Seeger, Yves DeClerck, and Shahab Asgharzadeh are working to better understand tumor growth and spread and to develop new treatments to target the tumor microenvironment. This research may further improve the survival of children with neuroblastoma.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most frequent type of cancer in children. Dr. Nora Heisterkamp’s research focuses on the interaction between leukemia cells and the bone marrow that lead to resistance to chemotherapy. Her findings have revealed that “natural killer” cells grown from the blood of children with leukemia can be used to overcome this chemotherapy resistance in the laboratory, leading to a new approach in immunotherapy to be studied in a clinical trial.

A clinical study of dietary intervention designed to treat children who are overweight has been developed as a result of the research of Dr. Steven Mittelman, who studies how fat cells protect leukemia against chemotherapy. His laboratory explores the link between obesity and poor outcomes from childhood leukemia.

Dr. Anat Epstein was the first to demonstrate that a gene called PID1 has important functions in childhood and adult brain tumors. With T.J. Martell Foundation funding she continues to focus on understanding how that gene regulates brain tumor growth and how it can be used to sensitize brain tumors to chemotherapy.

The CCCBD at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is the only program supported by the T. J. Martell Foundation that focuses solely on childhood malignancies. With just 4% of U.S. federal cancer funding devoted to childhood cancer, such philanthropic support is vitally important in the quest to cure children with cancer and leukemia. The T.J. Martell Foundation is a valued partner in the fight against childhood cancer, which is a source of hope to children and families courageously facing cancer.

Alan S. Wayne, M.D.
Director, Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases
Head, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California

We are Proud of our Commitment to Excellence

BlogThe T.J. Martell Foundation has contributed to many scientific achievements in leukemia, cancer and AIDS research over the past forty years. We are also focused on funding the brightest minds that will be the leaders in scientific research of tomorrow.

To read more about the life-saving research we are funding with your support, please click here.

Congratulations are in Order!

Every year Billboard releases its prestigious list of Women In Music: The Most Powerful Executives in the Industry, and every year several of our board members are included for being “ground-breakers and game changers.” This year our board members Jody Gerson, Julie Swidler, Jennifer Breithaupt and Sharon Dastur as well as our New York Honors Gala honoree Marsha Vlasik were all listed. We are so honored to work with these incredibly hard-working women to continue our vital leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.

To read the full list, please visit billboard.com.