John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary


The John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary is celebrating their Annual Odyssey Ball on May 4, 2019.

Established in 1982 by two breast cancer survivors, the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary is a nonprofit organization currently helmed by president Anita Swift, granddaughter of JohnWayne.

The Auxiliary has raised more than $20 million to fund a wide array of the Institute’s priorities including groundbreaking research, vital new laboratory equipment and the nationally renowned Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program, which trains the next generation of surgical oncologists.

Some Auxiliary members also give hands-on assistance through volunteer work at the Institute and at Providence SaintJohn’s Health Center. The Auxiliary’s Board of Directors meets monthly to plan events and welcomes new members. More at:

This year, they are honoring Dr. Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD, an internationally recognized neuroscientist and neuro-oncologist, ranked in the top 1% of the field, who is leading research in immunotherapy to treat brain cancer at Providence St John’s Health Center and John Wayne Cancer Institute. 

Kesari is on the cusp of advancing a new tool in the battle against glioblastoma and is nearing completion of clinical trials. The standard treatments using radiation and chemotherapy diminish the patient’s immune system.

Treating the patient before standard therapy allows the patients own immune system to respond strongly and fight the cancer more effectively. 

Dr Kesari’s own mother has received successful immunotherapy treatment for melanoma. Dr Kesari’s clinical results will be published this summer. 

May is National Brain Tumor Awareness Month! Kesari will be receiving The Duke Award from John Wayne Cancer Institute on May 4.

Join Kari Steele as she speaks more to Anita about the John Wayne Cancer Institute.

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