Florida Hospital is proud to announce its partnership with the AutoNation Cure Bowl, a new post-season NCAA football game whose net proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, as part of the organization’s long-standing commitment to cancer treatment, research and women’s health.
Florida Hospital will become the presenting sponsor of the Dec. 19 game at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, and will also host “Cure Village” at the stadium — a hub where fans can receive mammograms and other lifesaving screenings on game day.
This partnership enhances a collaboration between Florida Hospital and University of Central Florida College of Medicine Associate Professor Dr. Annette Khaled. Dr. Khaled was recently awarded a $250,000 grant from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) to fund her work into developing new technologies that treat metastatic cancer cells. Proceeds from the AutoNation Cure Bowl will help fund BCRF grants, such as Dr. Khaled’s, that allow researchers to continue their work toward finding a cure for breast cancer.
“Florida Hospital has a long-standing commitment to our community, and we’re partnering with the AutoNation Cure Bowl not just to bring awareness to breast cancer, but to show our support for finding a cure,” said Dr. Lori Boardman, medical director of Florida Hospital for Women. “Research is critical for the development of prevention strategies, as well as new treatments for this most common form of cancer in women. Florida Hospital is proud to be part of an exciting bowl game dedicated to supporting research into potential treatment options for women diagnosed with breast cancer.”
An example of Florida Hospital’s commitment to research includes the provision of tissue samples from breast cancer patients to Dr. Khaled.
“As scientists and clinicians, we know that what kills most cancer patients is when cancer cells metastasize — or spread — from their original tumor to the body’s brain, bones and liver. These spreading cells are medicine’s fierce enemies because they are hard to find, hard to target and hard to kill,” said Dr. Khaled. “That’s where my research at the UCF College of Medicine’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences comes in and our partnership with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Florida Hospital.”
Khaled’s lab has discovered that metastatic cancer cells contain a high level of the protein Chaperonin Containing-T-complex, or CCT. The faster cancer cells are spreading, the sicker they are making patients, and the more CCT they contain. Through the BCRF grant, Dr. Khaled’s team will work to develop new technologies that treat metastatic cancer cells.
"How to stop metastatic breast cancer is one of the most pressing questions in cancer medicine today," stated Myra Biblowit, president of BCRF. "BCRF is funding one of the largest metastatic breast cancer research projects in the world aimed at dissecting the molecular basis of metastasis. We are proud that Dr. Khaled will be joining BCRF's global scientific brain trust that is bringing us closer to our goal of eradicating this insidious disease and shedding a light on many other cancers as well."
More than 200,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society. And Florida Hospital research shows only 50 percent of women in Central Florida get their mammogram.
“We realize that women often put the health care needs of their loved ones above their own, or delay getting care due to work schedules, lack of transportation and cost concerns. Florida Hospital is committed to serving women inside and outside the walls of our hospitals. That’s why we will bring our mobile mammography bus to the AutoNation Cure Bowl in order to provide breast cancer screenings at a location convenient for women,” Dr. Boardman said.
While most NCAA bowl games make contributions to charity, few include the name of their cause in their title.
The Orlando Sports Foundation (OSF), the nonprofit organizer of the AutoNation Cure Bowl, is dedicated to raising funding for organizations working to find a cure for cancer.
“The Orlando Sports Foundation is honored to provide the student athletes of the American and the Sun Belt conferences the opportunity to play in the AutoNation Cure Bowl that will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network,” said Alan Gooch, executive director of OSF. “The presenting partnership with Florida Hospital, the state’s leader in cancer care, helps us keep the focus on the AutoNation Cure Bowl’s mission of bringing teams together to find a cure for cancer.”
The AutoNation Cure Bowl will be the first of three postseason college football bowl games hosted at the Citrus Bowl this year.
“We are proud to host the AutoNation Cure Bowl presented by Florida Hospital in Orlando, which will bring significant economic impact to our businesses, but also funding for lifesaving breast cancer research,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.