Healthy Living: 15th Annual GO Run for Gynecologic Oncology

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 12:48 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The GO Run for gynecologic oncology will celebrate its 15th year on Saturday, Sept. 17, with an in-person race after being held virtually for the past two years.

Presented by the Catranis Family Charitable Foundation, the 5K begins at 8 a.m., with the 1-mile fun run starting at 9 a.m. on a new course on the campus of the University of South Alabama. The race, based at the SGA Pavilion, will start and finish near the front of Hancock Whitney Stadium.

“We are excited to have everyone back in person for the GO Run,” said Caroline Smith, director of medical affairs development at USA. “This year we celebrate 15 years of supporting women with GYN cancer and 15 years of supporting basic research to develop new and better therapies.”

Proceeds from the GO Run benefit gynecologic cancer research and outreach at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute. It’s estimated that about 100,000 women are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer in the United States each year. The types of GYN cancers include cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar malignancies.

The GO Run supports the Mitchell Cancer Institute’s multifaceted ovarian cancer carcinogenesis program, which is working to better understand and hopefully prevent ovarian cancer. Among the projects are a recently completed study in hens to develop a new anti-cancer drug in collaboration with Auburn University. Researchers also are collaborating with the University of Virginia to validate the hen findings in a novel mouse model and develop biomarkers of the presence of disease.

“Our hope is to develop studies in women who are at high risk for the development of ovarian cancer where we aim to identify markers of the earliest forms of disease and develop interventions to reverse them,” said Jennifer Scalici, M.D., chief of MCI’s gynecologic oncology service, director of the gynecologic oncology research laboratory and professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology.

Meanwhile, precision medicine projects at the Mitchell Cancer Institute aim to address the racial disparity affecting the outcomes of Black women with endometrial cancer. Nathaniel Jones, M.D., a gynecologic oncologist and assistant professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology, is working to understand the impact of DNA damage within a tumor on the responsiveness to immunotherapy in endometrial cancer patients and explore how outside factors may contribute.

“The mission of our research program is to advance the science of GYN malignancies in a manner that we hope can improve the lives of women in our region,” Scalici said. “This project is a great example of how our work in the lab can translate to the women we care for.”

Over the past 14 years, the GO Run has raised more than $800,000 in support of gynecologic cancer research, clinical trials and outreach at the MCI.

The entry fee for the GO Run is $30 for adults and $15 for those 12 and under. Participants can sign up to run a virtual 5K for $32. Registration can be completed online.

“Teams are always one of the highlights of the GO Run experience,” Smith said. “This year, they will be able to gather in person to support their loved ones.”

For more information, visit the GO Run page on Follow the GO Run Facebook page @mciGOrun.

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