Research is Hope: Why We Fundraise

Research is Hope: Why We Fundraise

Our late founder, Aliye Bricker, MD, was diagnosed with Stage IV RET-positive NSCLC after giving birth to her second daughter at the age of 34. Aliye lived for another six years and, during that time, she founded RETpositive with the most pressing goal to fund medical research for second-line RET+ cancer treatments. 

Thanks to Aliye’s courageous dedication, RETpositive partnered in 2022 with The Hamoui Foundation and Lungevity to fund $1.2 million in RET research. Driving medical research was extremely important for Aliye. To her, as well as other RET advocates, research means hope. 

RETpositive is proud to continue Aliye's legacy of partnering with Lungevity's Targeted Therapeutics Research Award Program to leverage its institutional capacity for rigorous scientific review to meet areas of greatest unmet treatment need for biomarker-driven cancers like RET.

Hilary Hammell, MD, Stage IV RET+ NSCLC survivor and RETpositive Co-President, represented our RET community at last year's meeting and spoke in honor of her friend Aliye.

“A quote that makes me think of Aliye is, ‘Hope has two beautiful daughters, their names are anger and courage. Anger at the way things are. And courage to see that they do not remain the way that they are.’ Out of [Aliye’s] frustration, she had the courage, determination, and hope to make a difference...Her courage ultimately was the spark behind the research that we are honoring today,” said Hilary.

The RETpositive 2022 awardees are listed below:

  • John Heymach, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX: Novel structure-based and combinatorial approaches for RET-fusion NSCLC
  • Tejas Patil, University of Colorado, Denver, CO: MET and EGFR as biomarkers for amivantamab in overcoming RET TKI resistance
  • Alexandre Reuben, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX: T-cell receptor engineering for the treatment of RET fusion-positive NSCLC
  • Hideo Watanabe, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY: Targeting lineage plasticity to suppress DTP in RET-positive lung cancer

This first round of RETpositive research is underway and next-generation RET TKI trials are showing promise, but more research and treatment options are needed for our community.

This is why RETpositive is building on Aliye’s legacy by raising money to fund another round of critical RET research grants in 2023, again partnering with Lungevity and leveraging their extensive scientific expertise and capacity.

These awards will prioritize areas of greatest unmet treatment need, including vital immunotherapy treatments for RET patients.

Help us fund this next round of critical research.

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