Cancer Survivor

For David Deugenio, the DCC was a turning point in his personal battle against cancer. When he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, David thought the end was near, as he had already lost his parents, two siblings, and several other loved ones to cancer.

Fortunately, David turned to Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D., a Sylvester specialist in blood cancers who understands the importance of a positive mindset. Dr. Rosenblatt convinced David to ride in the DCC. At first, David couldn’t ride three miles without feeling exhausted, but he persevered with support from “Dr. Joe.”

At DCC IX, David was able to complete the 25-mile ride to the cheers of his family and friends, and he’s never looked back. David makes it a point to train year-round, wearing his fundraising sign on his back for all to see. People often stop him on his rides to ask about his mission and how they can support his fundraising efforts. He credits the DCC with bringing new meaning to his life, allowing him to contribute to and engage with his community in a powerful way.

Crossing the finish line at the DCC and hugging my grandson was magical. It was the best day of my life.

Watch as David's story here.

This is an exciting time in cancer research. Funds from the DCC allow labs to take new risks and explore new ideas, approaches we otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.

Joseph D. Rosenblatt, M.D.
Chief, Hematology Division
Professor of Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology
William J. Harrington Chair in Hematology
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Dcc Impact

Dr. Rosenblatt’s leading-edge research focuses on developing new therapies that target cancer cells with higher accuracy, moving from a shotgun approach to focused therapies for patients with aggressive cancers. The Rosenblatt laboratory has developed personalized cancer treatments based on molecular and immunological analyses of tumors. The result: more effective therapies with fewer side effects.

The team is also drilling down to the genetic level of tumors to understand the driving forces behind specific cancers. In studying gene expression of tumors, they have been able to identify surprising drug treatments. For example, a drug that was developed for one mutated gene in melanoma turned out to be extremely useful in hairy cell leukemia. The molecular evidence links two diseases that would normally be considered unrelated, broadening the field for collaboration and more rapid advances in the science.

Dr. Rosenblatt and his team are also currently identifying new therapeutic agents, such as antibody fusion proteins that inhibit the growth of cancer cells, which could revolutionize the fight against cancer. They are implementing treatments that block cancer from metastasizing, which can reduce cancer cells  to a non-detectable level in the blood. This could be a lifelong reprieve for some types of cancer. The team is now in the clinical testing phase with one of the proteins created in the Rosenblatt lab.

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