The LA Cancer Challenge (LACC) is pleased to announce that Drs. King & Girgis have been named as the Honorary Medical Chairs for this year’s event. Chosen for their groundbreaking advancement of robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Mark Girgis and Dr. Jonathan King will participate in the LACC on Sunday, October 21 in Wilson Plaza at UCLA. Both surgeons are part of the Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases at UCLA , the only integrated practice units of its kind where patients can get extensive evaluation and a personalized treatment plan in just one visit.
The LACC, held on the UCLA campus, is the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research’s signature fundraising event. Now in its 21st year, the funds raised through the LACC directly benefit groundbreaking research via the Seed Grant Program.
“We are excited to have Dr. King and Dr. Girgis not only joining us on October 21st but helping convey our message of hope to the thousands of runners and walkers. Both doctors are past Seed Grant Awardees and know how important our program is for advancing the research landscape. Each Seed Grant awarded is a stepping stone to saving lives,” said Agi Hirshberg, Founder and President of the Hirshberg Foundation. “Their participation shows our supporters that significant progress is being made, but will also help emphasize that more work is still needed.”
This year the Hirshberg Foundation received 51 Seed Grant proposals from across the country. These projects range in focus from treatment to targeted therapies, immunotherapy to metabolic regulation to the medical benefits of cannabidiol. The fundraising done by the LA Cancer Challenge community is key to funding as many of these projects as possible.
In Dr. Mark Girgis’s words, “The importance of the Hirshberg Foundation cannot be overstated. These dedicated philanthropists have tipped the balance towards finding a definitive cure.”
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers, on track to be the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death in the US by the year 2020. One of the difficulties in diagnosing the disease is the vague symptoms it presents, meaning that many cases are diagnosed once they have metastasized and surgery is no longer an option. The work that Drs. Girgis & King are doing with robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery are helping to improve pancreatic cancer outcomes.
“With so much optimism on the horizon, I count myself lucky to be a part of the Hirshberg Foundation, leaders in the field of pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Mark Girgis, co-captain of the UCLA Surgical Bruins team.
His co-captain, Dr. Jonathan King says, “The Hirshberg Foundation is a beacon of strength, hope – and most importantly – progress in the quest to cure pancreatic cancer. As a pancreatic cancer researcher and surgeon I am honored to be participating in the LA Cancer Challenge!”