About The National Cancer Center
One out of every five deaths in America is from cancer. And perhaps saddest of all, cancer causes more deaths in children between the ages of 1 and 14 years than any other disease.
National Cancer Center was founded by Dr. J. Ernest Ayre in 1953 as a non-profit organization committed to research and education about cancer. Dr. J. Ernest Ayre was a pioneer in refining and promoting the Pap test for women. The Pap test has been the major factor in reducing deaths from cervical cancer by 70%. Dr. Ayre was also one of the first researchers to recognize the enormous potential of Interferon for cancer treatment.
Dr. Ayre's dedication and accomplishments have been the standard for the work we have carried forward for over 60 years. We are currently assisting researchers at a number of universities including Duke University, Yale Univiversity, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, John Hopkins University, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. more...
The focus of National Cancer Center is two-fold: research and education.
We are dedicated to the task of seeking out and providing financial support to researchers undertaking thorough, innovative, and promising studies on topics related to conquering cancer.
The National Cancer Center’s Commitment to Basic Research
Despite the development of new and effective treatments for various forms of cancer, many patients still succumb to this disease. Novel approaches are needed to improve patient outcomes and to develop a better understanding of how and why cancer develops in different tissues in the first place.
Just what is “basic cancer research”? It is the scientific investigation into how the body’s immune system sees and responds to cancer when it initially develops, research that seeks to reveal how and why cancer cells are resistant to different treatments. Such knowledge can, it is hoped, lead to strategies which are effective in overcoming that resistance.
This fundamental research is often carried out by post-doctoral scientists and physicians who, working under the mentorship of established professional investigators, are at the beginning of their scientific careers.
Financial support for these young scientists is keenly important in order to train the next generation of cancer researchers and continue the rapid progress that is being made in the development of new cancer therapies. And it is this specific and critical financial support which NCC provides through contributions from donors like you.
The National Cancer Center’s Commitment to Education
The National Cancer Center also educates Americans on how they can reduce their risk of cancer. Over the past few years, NCC has distributed a number of education and prevention packets on such topics as breast, lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer, as well as needle biopsy aspiration. Other areas of our work include mailing information packets designed to help prevent skin cancer during summer months. (If you would like further information on any of this material, please write to us at NCC, 88 Sunnyside Boulevard, Suite 307, Plainview, NY 11803.)
We are committed to finding a cure.
We need your help to fund cancer research projects and cutting edge treatments. With your support and the work of dedicated scientists and doctors a cure can't be far away.
NATIONAL CANCER CENTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Barry J. Peek, ESQ., President bio...
Barry J. Peek joined the board of the National Cancer Center in 2011 and currently serves as the President of the Board. He obtained his B.A. degree from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1974. He graduated from Hofstra Law School in 1977.
After approximately forty years as an attorney in private practice, thirty-two of which were with the distinguished law firm Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. where he served as Co-Chair of the firms Labor Group, Barry has recently started working as a full time arbitrator and mediator. He is now associated with the well known arbitrator/mediator Martin F. Scheinman, Esq. Throughout Barry’s career his practice has been limited to employment and labor relations matters. He has represented unions and individuals in all aspects of labor and employment law matters, advising clients in regard to compliance and enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act; the Taylor Law; the Fair Labor Standards Act; the New York State Wage and Hour Laws; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; the New York State Human Rights Law; the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act. Barry has represented clients before the NLRB, PERB, the EEOC and the State Division of Human Rights and his litigation experience includes appearing in state and federal courts in cases involving contract enforcement issues; vacating and confirming arbitration awards; federal and state discrimination claims; non-compete agreements; injunctions and wage and hour disputes.
Barry’s ADR experience includes participation in over 1,000 discipline and contract interpretation arbitration proceedings in a wide variety of industries, including, healthcare, restaurants, publishing, manufacturing, hospitality, broadcasting, and public sector (corrections, police, education and social services). Throughout Barry’s career he has served as the lead negotiator on behalf of his union clients in hundreds of contract negotiations. He also has extensive experience as an advocate before fact-finding and interest arbitration panels in the areas of police, corrections, and education.
Barry is presently a member of the American Arbitration Employment Panel as well as the Nassau County CSEA Arbitration Panel.
Jeremy Paul JD, CFP®, AIF®, CDFA®, Vice President/Treasurer bio..
Jeremy Paul has been involved with National Cancer Center Inc. for over ten years. In 2007 Jeremy served as NCC’s investment advisory professional. Two years later, he was asked to join the Board of Directors and currently serves as Vice President/Treasurer.
Presently, Mr. Paul serves as the President and Managing Partner of RLP Wealth Advisors, LLC. He holds the Certified Financial Planner practitioner credential and is admitted to the legal Bar in both New York and New Jersey. His legal experience and knowledge of the law provide him with a broad perspective of the many factors involved in designing, implementing, and monitoring a comprehensive financial plan. Jeremy has also earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ professional designation, awarded by the Center for Fiduciary Studies, which provides formal training in investment fiduciary responsibility. Jeremy is a holder of the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® credential. As a CDFA® he assists individuals and their attorneys in navigating through the personal and financial decisions accompanying a divorce.
Mr. Paul is a member of several organizations including the Greater Boca Raton Estate Planning Council, the Financial Planning Association, and the NYS Society of CPAs. He is also active in his community where he sits on the Boards of The National Cancer Center and The New York Says Thank You Foundation.
Mr. Paul has been nominated for the prestigious Barron’s list of top 100 independent financial advisors and is a participant in Barron’s Winner Circle Top Independent Advisors Summit.
Raymond L. Forsythe bio..
Raymond Forsythe has been a member of the National Cancer Center Board since 2014.
During his professional career, he served as a senior executive for over two decades as Co-Founder and Managing Partner of P&F Communications, a NYC-based public relations agency. As a marketing communications executive, he possesses expertise in agency, corporate and account management. He created and implemented strategic national and major market public relations, marketing, promotion, corporate image, consumer product and non-profit programs. He also oversaw the marketing of 200-plus major studio and independent film release campaigns. In addition to his Board service on NCC, Ray also acts as Chairman of the Board-Emeritus of Encompass New Opera Theatre.
Regina English bio...
Regina English is the Executive Director (ED), and a Board member at large for National Cancer Center, Inc. She joined National Cancer Center in 2000 as a board member, and was hired to be the organization’s Executive Director when their former Executive Director retired. In her role as Executive Director, she oversees all aspects of the administration including acting as chief liaison to the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board, as well as special events, public relations work and fundraising.
After graduating from Hunter College, Regina joined a public relations agency called Conover Mast Publications, and soon rose in the ranks to became the Production Supervisor of Volume Feeding magazine. Next, she joined the public relations firm of England Strohl DeNigris, where she managed the AT&T account, among others.
Regina worked on Ted Kennedy’s campaign for President, with an emphasis on press releases, special events and public meetings. Regina’s husband, John F. (Jack) English founded this law firm in 1960, with a vision to build a law practice staffed by only the most talented and respected attorneys. Throughout his career, Jack English was a trusted advisor to presidents, from John F. Kennedy to Jimmy Carter, as well as to United States senators and other prominent politicians. When Jack English passed away from colon cancer, Regina dedicated herself to helping find a cure for cancer through her work with NCC funding research.
Margaret Cantillon O’Leary more...
Margaret Cantillon O’Leary joined the National Cancer Center Board of Directors in 2016. After graduating from Briarcliffe College, Margaret has worked as an Executive/Personal Assistant. For the past 16 years, her position has supported non-for-profit foundations in an administrative capacity. In addition, she recently formed a team for Cycle for Survival to raise funds and awareness for MSK (Memorial Sloan Kettering) where 100% of the proceeds went to research. As a 12 year breast cancer survivor, it is Margaret’s mission to work with the National Cancer Center in an effort to raise awareness and funds to support research resulting in a cure for cancer.
Kris DiSanti, Administrative Assistant
Eileen Jackson, Administrative Clerk
Scientific Advisory Board
Darell D. Bigner, M.D., Ph. D. Chairman more...
Darell D. Bigner, M.D., Ph.D. is the Edwin L. Jones, Jr. and Lucille Finch Jones Cancer Research Professor and Director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. Dr. Bigner is a physician-scientist specializing in neuropathology and neuro-oncology, with a career-long interest in the cause, mechanisms of development, prevention, and new methods of treatment of brain, spinal cord, and CNS tumors. He has successfully implemented an internationally recognized immunotherapy program targeting brain tumors using radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies, immunotoxins, and tumor-specific vaccination. He has published over 577 publications on brain tumors and is founding Editor-in-Chief of Neuro-Oncology. Dr. Bigner is regarded as one of the leading authorities in the world of malignant brain tumors.
| Edwin L. Jones, Jr. and Lucille Finch Jones
Cancer Research Professor
Director, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at Duke
Director, Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
John M. Kirkwood, M.D. more...
Dr. John M. Kirkwood completed his MD at Yale University (1973) and postgraduate work at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Harvard University/Dana-Farber Cancer Center (1978). He directed the Yale Melanoma Unit (1978-1985) and was the founding Associate Director for Medical Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), where he was Chief of Medical Oncology (1986-1996) and Vice Chairman for Clinical Research in the Department of Medicine (1996-2006). Dr. Kirkwood has directed the Melanoma Center of the UPCI (1986-present), and is the PI of the University of Pittsburgh SPORE in Melanoma and Skin Cancer (2008-2018). He holds a T32 Training Grant for Melanoma and Skin Cancer (2014-2019), and is Senior Investigator of the University of Pittsburgh in the ECOG-ACRIN National Cooperative Group. He has chaired the Melanoma Committee of the ECOG-ACRIN since 1989, and the International Melanoma Working Group since 2004. He holds the Sandra and Thomas Usher endowed chair in melanoma research at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, where he is Professor of Medicine, Dermatology, and Translational Science. Dr. Kirkwood’s research focuses upon melanoma immunobiology, therapy and prevention. He developed the first FDA-approved immunotherapy of melanoma (1996) and has led immunotherapy development in cancer for the past 45 years, beginning decades before immunotherapy had reached the limelight it has achieved in melanoma and other solid tumors over the past 5 years. He has advanced the multimodal therapy of melanoma with surgery, stereotactic radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and molecular antitumor agents, and is now pioneering new combinations of the 10 recently-approved new immunotherapies and molecular therapies that are anticipated to be the focus of the next decade of clinical translational research.
Dr. Kirkwood has advanced new and more efficient trial designs to accelerate regulatory approval of new therapies and combinations. In the International Melanoma Working Group these trials for metastatic disease propose to utilize adaptive design, intermediate endpoints, and a global collaboration among the leading academic institutions and pharmaceutical firms with melanoma advocacy, and regulatory authorities to accelerate our assessment of new agents and combinations. In the US National Cooperative Groups the national trials he has led have utilized factorial design, and prospective blood and tissue biomarker corollaries, to establish and confirm the first effective adjuvant therapy of melanoma. In patients with operable high-risk melanoma his institutional and regional consortium adjuvant studies have pioneered neoadjuvant trial designs that have illuminated the mechanism of the interferons, checkpoint inhibitors, and multiple combinations that are anticipated to further improve clinical outcomes for operable high-risk melanoma. In patients with earlier primary melanoma, he is leading efforts to improve early detection, and chemoprevention with nutritional agents that may prevent melanoma progression from atypical/dysplastic nevus precursors with minimal or no toxicity.
Dr. Kirkwood has trained more than 200 fellows, many of whom are now leaders of melanoma investigation across the US and in Europe. He has published more than 365 original peer-reviewed articles and 175 reviews, editorials, and chapters. He was elected to the Association of American Physicians in 2014, and is a member of AACR, ASCO, SITC, and multiple editorial boards of the leading journals in the field of medical oncology, cutaneous oncology and immunotherapy.
| Director of Clinical Research, Melanoma Center Dept. of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Janet M.D. Plate, Ph.D. more...
Jerome Ritz, M.D. more...
Canadian-born James Ernest Ayre, M.D., was a gynecologist who sought to find a cure for cancer through research into immunology and cytology, cytology being the microscopic study of cells to detect abnormalities and malignancies.
A 1936 graduate in medicine from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, after three years in general practice, Dr. Ayre underwent training in obstetrics and gynecology at Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital. In 1945, he was appointed director of the gynecological cytology laboratory at Royal Victoria Hospital and two years later was named an honorary Fellow of the American Medical Association and Diplomate in Gynecology of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Along with Dr. George Papanicolaou, Dr. Ayre was a pioneer in cytological cancer detection methods as early as the 1940’s when such research was in its beginning stages.
His impact upon the field, especially in the area of women’s health, was groundbreaking. In collaboration with Dr. Papanicolaou, he was co-inventor of the Ayre Spatula, the instrument still used today to collect cervical cells for the detection of cancer. After being granted a U.S. patent in 1949, he donated to the American Cancer Society all the profits from the sale of his cervical scraper. He soon moved to the United States and became a U.S. citizen in 1951.
Dr. Ayre’s creative approach to cancer diagnosis continued apace with his invention of the gastric brush and other instruments employed in the diagnosis of cancers of the lung, throat, stomach and colon. Further, he introduced the cyto-sputum kit, a simple but brilliant test which uses saliva to detect pre-cancerous and cancerous cells in the mouth, throat and lung.
Dr. Ayre was also in the front ranks of early researchers into the enormous cancer treatment potential of the drug Interferon. Today, Interferon is used to treat cancers as various as leukemia, melanoma and AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma, as well as such viral infections as chronic hepatitis B and C.
During the course of his sterling career, Dr. Ayre held a number of positions with noted cancer institutions and organizations, among them vice president of the Cancer Cytology Foundation of America, executive vice president of the World Cancer Cytology Congress, and medical and scientific director of the National Cancer Cytology Center.
The capstone of his dedicated professional life was marked in 1953 when Dr. Ayre founded the National Cancer Cytology Center, forerunner of today’s National Cancer Center. Committed to research and education about cancer, since 2011 alone the National Cancer Center has provided nearly $2,000,000 in funding for basic research into the cure, prevention and diagnosis of cancer. We are honored to carry on Dr. Ayre’s legacy through our funding for specialized research projects: Aggressive Cancer, Breast Cancer, Children’s Cancer and Fighting Childhood Leukemia.
Aggressive Cancer Research
The Aggressive Cancer Research program of NCC specializes in fundraising for colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer.
The Breast Cancer Project
The Breast Cancer Project specifically funds grants focusing on breast cancer research and prevention. NCC created this program because breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women today (after lung cancer), and is the most common cancer among women, excluding non-melanoma skin cancers.
Children's Cancer Project
The Children's Cancer Project of NCC provides funds for pediatric cancer research and community education.
Fighting Childhood Leukemia
The Fighting Childhood Leukemia (FCL) program of NCC provides additional research funding for the single most common form of cancer in children, leukemia. Childhood leukemias account for more than one-third of all new cases of childhood cancers.
"The National Cancer Center fills an extremely important function in funding postdoctoral fellowships. Postdoctoral fellows are essential to conduct the cancer research of the investigators of every institution in the country. There is a significant shortage of fellowship funding and many of the applicants, are ineligible for federal funding. The National Cancer Center fills the gap to a significant extent."
Darell D. Bigner, M.D., Ph.D.
Edwin L. Jones, Jr. and Lucille Finch Jones
Cancer Research Professor
Director, Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke
Chief, Preuss Laboratory for Brain Tumor Research
"I believe that the funding of early-phase cancer research investigators, both pre-doctoral and post-doctoral, is one of the key needs we have in this time. The NCC is oriented to filling this gap, and has supported trainees in a number of critical areas of investigation."
John M. Kirkwood, MD Professor of Medicine,
Dermatology and Translational Science Co-Director,
Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Hillman Cancer Outpatient Pavilion
"For those individuals who want to establish a career in cancer research, the first few years are critical as they identify scientific mentors and begin their research projects. NCC fellowship grants focus on these individuals and your rigorous selection process helps identify the most talented young investigators likely to have great impact on the field."
Jerome Ritz, MD Executive Director,
Connell O’Reilly Cell Manipulation Core Facility
Professor of Medicine
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School