The Auxiliary Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital Designates New Cause

Northwestern Medicine
News April 26, 2013
2013 Summer Lovin flyerThe Auxiliary Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital recently announced its support to an innovative research study in bone marrow transplant which aims to improve cancer care at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The Auxiliary Board is a group of young professionals and community leaders that supports Northwestern Memorial through various fundraisers, including the annual Summer Lovin’ event hosted in partnership with Chicago magazine.  This year’s event will be held on Friday, June 21, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and will introduce the magazine’s most eligible singles for 2013.

The Auxiliary Board focuses on providing “seed money” to programs and research initiatives at Northwestern Memorial. Founded in 1987, the board has committed more than $2 million to enhance treatment for patients and their families through a host of patient care initiatives, including: the ambulatory spine program, bone marrow transplant, comprehensive heart failure prevention and treatment, neurology and neurological surgery, prostate cancer gene therapy, women’s health and the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute.

 “The Auxiliary Board plays a unique role at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a key sponsor of diverse, innovative research designed to address contemporary medical issues,” said Mindy Kurlansky, board president. “This is an exciting time of year for the Board. We are pleased to announce our new cause and look forward to another great Summer Lovin’ with our partner, Chicago magazine.”

The group has pledged its support to an innovative research study in bone marrow transplant, led by John Galvin, MD, hematopoietic stem cell transplant fellow at Northwestern Memorial. Bone marrow transplant, also called hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), is the only chance for a cure in many types of blood cancers. However, success is limited by a common and sometimes fatal complication in which the donor cells begin to attack the host. This complication is called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). The current method used to prevent GVHD is long term immunosuppressive therapy, which carries an additional risk of infection for the patient.

“Our research team will attempt to prevent GVHD by inducing a specific tolerance within the donor cells—instead of inhibiting the patient’s whole immune system,” said Galvin. “If this novel approach proves successful, it could result in a safer stem cell transplant, making this important treatment accessible to a greater number of patients with blood cancers.”

To learn more about becoming a member or supporter of The Auxiliary Board, or for event information contact Jamal Bowleg at Northwestern Memorial Foundation at 312.926.4530.

For more information on cancer care at Northwestern Memorial, visit the hematology/oncology program website

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