February 19, 2002

Pete Lopiccola Cancer Research Foundation
Makes Gift To UCSD Cancer Center

The Pete Lopiccola Cancer Research Foundation has given UCSD Cancer Center $90,000 to fund cancer treatment and research. The gift came from the proceeds of the 14th Annual “For Pete’s Sake…” Pete Lopiccola Memorial Marlin Tournament, which was held in October at the Hacienda Beach Resort in Cabo San Lucas.

The non-profit organization has donated a total of $970,500 to UCSD Cancer Center in the past 11 years.

The Memorial Marlin Tournament was founded in honor of Pete Lopiccola, a boat captain and avid fisherman who lost his life to leukemia in 1988, just two days before his 30th birthday. The tournament, which has become the largest and most successful charity marlin tournament on the West Coast, raises money to support cancer research.

“We’re particularly proud of this year’s results especially in light of two major obstacles – the September 11th attack on America, and Hurricane Juliet which left Cabo San Lucas devastated,” said Chuck Faith, Chairman of the Lopiccola Foundation.

This year's check was presented by Faith, Foundation President Terri Brodeau and Foundation Co-Chair Tom Nielsen on February 15 during a reception at the UCSD Faculty Club Lounge.

David Tarin, M.D., Ph.D., Director of UCSD Cancer Center, and Frank Goldberg, President of the Cancer Center Foundation Board, accepted the check on the Center’s behalf and acknowledged the Lopiccola Foundation’s support by presenting engraved plaques to members of the tournament committee.

Recently, the Lopiccola Foundation funded research projects for seven young scientists affiliated with the Cancer Center, each for $40,000. Three of the scientists are doing basic research projects: Jianbo Wang, Ph.D., “Genetic Defects in Breast Cancer Development”; Yinghui Mao, Ph.D., “Analysis of How to Stop Tumor Cells Dividing”; and Lisa A. Porter, Ph.D., “Study of a New Gene Called “Speedy” Which may Control Multiplication of Cancer Cells.” Three clinical research studies are being conducted: Jeffrey W. Allen, Ph.D., “Mechanisms of Delivering Drugs to Relieve Pain from Malignant Tumors”; Mark M. Fuster, M.D., “Studies of New Molecules Affecting Formation of Blood Vessels Supplying Tumors”; and Sang Hee Choi, M.D., Ph.D., “Imaging of Blood Supply to Prostate Cancer.” A prevention study on “Quality of Life and Survivorship Issues in Recurrent Breast Cancer” is being conducted by Andrea A. Thornton, Ph.D.

In addition to supporting cancer research, other Lopiccola funds benefit many children from the Cabo San Lucas area who need medical care.

The 2002 tournament will be held in mid-October.  For further information about the event, contact Terri Brodeau at (619) 475-4636 or via e-mail at ForPeteSake@att.net, or visit the event Web site at www.Petesake.com.

Founded in 1979, UCSD Cancer Center is one of just 41 centers in the United States to hold a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. As such, it ranks among the top centers in the nation conducting basic and clinical cancer research, providing advanced patient care and serving the community through outreach and education programs.

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Media Contact:
Nancy Stringer

UCSD Health Sciences Communications HealthBeat: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/