Thyroid cancer research is a critical piece of our mission.
We have directly funded 8 grants so far.
Meet our researchers and their specific grants below.
Our Grant Fundraising Efforts
(See our researchers' photos/names below and their more in-depth information below the photos.)
Bite Me Cancer partners with The American Thyroid Association to directly fund thyroid cancer research grants. This program is geared toward budding researchers looking at new ways to approach thyroid cancer, and there is a rigorous review process for the research applicants.
In 2012, Bite Me Cancer set out with the goal to raise $57,500 to fund one of the grants. By the end of 2013, we did just that and became an official grant partner of ATA! Two years later in 2014, the final selection process was conducted by ATA’s review panel, and Bite Me Cancer chose a research grant.
Here's how it works: Bite Me Cancer sends in a check to cover one-half of the funding for the first year of the research. Research progress is reviewed after year one by ATA to determine whether year two will be funded. If approved, Bite Me Cancer also pays for the second year of research.
Since 2014, we have continued to raise funds each year for a research grant. As of 2019, ATA requires $50,000 for a 2-year grant instead of $57,500. You can see our researchers and their work below. We are very grateful for their efforts and that we can follow their progress directly.
Sometimes, Bite Me Cancer partners with ThyCa (Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association) to share a grant.
About the American Thyroid Association
Since 2012, Bite Me Cancer has been dedicated to trying to make a difference in Thyroid Cancer research with the hopes of being able to fund a 2-year grant in partnership with the American Thyroid Association (ATA).
The American Thyroid Association® (ATA) is dedicated to transforming thyroid care through clinical excellence, education, scientific discovery and advocacy in a collaborative community.
Dr. Dr. Shoko Kure - Ninth Grant (Began 7/2022, 2-year grant)
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Dr. Eman Ali Toraih - Eighth Grant (Began 7/2021, 2-year grant)
Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Dr. Cristina Montero-Conde - Seventh Grant (Began 7/2020, 2-year grant)
Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), Madrid, Spain
Dr. Anthanasios Bikas - Sixth Grant (Began 7/2019, 2-year grant)
Brigham & Women's Hospital, MA
Dr. Wayne Miles - Fifth Grant (Began 7/2018, 2-year grant)
Assistant Professor, Molecular Genetics, The Ohio State University Medical Center
Dr. Yu Qin - Fourth Grant (Began 7/2017, 2-year grant)
Clinical Fellow, Endocrinology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, TX
Dr. Irene Min - Third Grant (Began 7/2016, 2-year grant)
Assistant Professor in Molecular Biology Researcher, Division of Endocrine Surgery, Weill Cornell Medicine, NY
Laura Boucai, MD - Second Grant (began 7/2015, 2-year grant)
Physician-Scientist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY
Ramona Dadu, MD - First Grant (Began 7/2014, 2-year grant)
Assistant Professor, Department of Endocrine Neoplasia & Hormonal Disorders, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, TX
Thyroid Cancer Research Grant Recipients
Dr. Shoko Kure - Eighth Grant
Research Fellow in Pathology (EXT)
For medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), surgery is currently the first line treatment. Clinically available drugs are limited, and patients may develop drug resistance and tumor progression. Therefore, new therapeutic options are urgently needed for the refractory MTC. MTC is a tumor with abundant vessels. These tumor vessels are crucial for maintaining tumor aggressiveness. Pericytes are one of the vessel component, in the normal tissue as well as tumor tissue. They express receptors (called tyrosine kinase receptor (TK)), and impact the drug response by TK inhibitors (TKIs). In Dr. Carmelo Nucera lab has been recently identified that one of the TKIs, lenvatinib, significantly induced higher thyroid cancer cell death when tumor cells grew together with pericytes. This was the first thyroid-specific model of Lenvatinib therapeutic efficacy against pericyte viability, which disadvantaged BRAFV600E thyroid cancer cell growth. The grant proposes that pericytes are key regulators of tumor cell survival in MTC. In this study, they will use mouse models of human MTC cells to assess the efficacy of the bimodal treatment with Selpercatinib and Lenvatinib. This new therapeutic strategy will effectively target both MTC cells and pericytes in the tumor microenvironment. This is the first study to unravel pericyte diversity in MTC and develop a new combined therapy for patients with this lethal thyroid cancer. Also, assessing pericyte abundance in patients with MTC might be essential for appropriate targeted therapies with TKIs.