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The Impact of a Sparkle of Hope

July 22, 2016

Ladies’ Night Out is less than one week away and we are incredible excited to shine a sparkle of hope on women whose lives have been touched by gynecologic cancers!  We wanted to share just how the smallest glimmer of hope can lead to life-changing research so the UW Department of Ob-Gyn interviewed some practitioners who are very invested in gynecologic cancer research to give you an idea of just how important your $5 Ladies’ Night Out admission donation is!

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How does a “sparkle of hope” lead to innovative research, improved quality of life, better treatments, and an eventual cure for gynecologic cancers? We posed this question to members of the UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Division of Gynecologic Oncology. Below are just a few of their responses.

Lisa Barroilhet, MD, and Manish Patankar, PhD, are leading an effort to specifically target individual patients’ cancers through personalized chemotherapy, allowing for less toxicity, fewer side effects, and better success for those patients.

“Sparkle of Hope funds gave us the opportunity to start our preliminary work on this project, so we can eventually seek a larger pool of funding,” said Barroilhet.

Ahmed Al-Niaimi, MD, created the Gynecologic Oncology Longitudinal Data Collection and Utilization Project (GOLD CUP) to track thousands of patients’ basic health information, surgical outcomes, chemotherapy and radiotherapy outcomes, and other data, in order to provide clinicians a broad perspective from which to make the best possible decisions about patient care.

“Thanks to funds from Sparkle of Hope, we think GOLD CUP will become a national standard, so that all of us in the field of gynecologic oncology are speaking the same language about research, and most importantly, about patient satisfaction and outcomes,” Al-Niaimi said.

David Kushner, MD, Joanne Rash, PA-C, and others at the UW Carbone Cancer Center developed the Women’s Integrative Sexual Health (WISH) program, which provides individual clinical consultation, resources, education, emotional support, and appropriate referrals related to sexual health concerns for women with cancer.

“We’re coordinating a database of sexual health issues that affect women with cancer so we can learn from a larger patient population,” said Rash. “We’re trying to not only help our local women, but also to build real data and science behind what we’re doing in order to help people everywhere.”
“We want to get them cured, and then on to survivorship in such a way that they have a wonderful quality of life,” added Kushner.

Sparkle of Hope contributors help us expand our knowledge of treatments and outcomes in ways that ultimately benefit the patients we care for. Sparkle of Hope funds help us improve the lives of women who have experienced gynecologic cancer. Sparkle of Hope funds allow UW Ob-Gyn clinicians and scientists to pursue ideas and innovations that might not otherwise see the light of day. As federal funding for scientific research becomes more elusive, private support is more important than ever. Your support, in any amount, can provide a sparkle of hope that directly impacts women and their families in our community and beyond.

Thank you.