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Research Conquers Cancer

Leadership Letter

Our Donors


2023 Impact Report

When Conquer Cancer launched 25 years ago, it was with a critical understanding: Research Conquers Cancer.™

Lifesaving research is only possible, however, when the people behind it have the resources and funding necessary to turn ideas into actualities. Driven by this conviction, we’ve always invested in people, from the patients who desperately need better options to the physician-scientists committed to making that happen through innovative research.

Our mission is to accelerate lifesaving research and to empower people everywhere to conquer cancer. Pursuing such an ambitious mission is only possible because of your unwavering and shared commitment to accelerating research breakthroughs and empowering people everywhere to conquer cancer. In 2023, your support ensured that some of the brightest minds in oncology continued their pursuit of cancer research with the potential to make a lifesaving impact on treatment and care. In the process, you helped those experts bring better treatments and cures to the people who need them around the world.

In this report, we’ll share with you some of the amazing stories of hope, discovery, and survival that your generosity made possible. We hope you’ll carry these stories with you every day as a reminder of our gratitude and of countless people whose lives you’ve touched.


People. You Helped People Conquer Cancer in Countless Ways

From funding groundbreaking research to vital programs and professional development opportunities, everything we do at Conquer Cancer comes down to one critical goal: changing and saving the lives of people around the world. But we could not do it without your help—and make no mistake: In 2023, your help made a resounding impact.

“Conquer Cancer funded the research that changed my life.” — Frank, survivor of oral cancer

Funding the Research that Changes Lives 

There was a time when the odds of surviving a stage IV oral cancer diagnosis were significantly lower than today. Survivors faced a lifetime spent struggling to do things most people take for granted, like singing, eating, or telling someone you love them. But, because of your generosity, patients like Frank and Brian have the chance to overcome oral cancer and live healthy, productive, full lives.

Both men are patients of Dr. Chi Viet, a Conquer Cancer-funded physician-scientist whose advances in treating oral cancer allowed them to not only survive their diagnosis but to also preserve a higher quality of life than might once have been possible.

Today, Frank and Brian find purpose and meaning from their experiences by openly sharing their stories so that other patients might derive confidence and hope from them—and in hopes of raising awareness and support for organizations like Conquer Cancer. “Once you’re touched by cancer, you want to help everybody who’s got it,” Brian says. “It means the world to me if I can help one person.”

Now cancer-free, Brian recalls how difficult it was not only to endure surgery, but also to sit with the negative thoughts that often arise when facing cancer, particularly a rare form of the disease. He is committed to supporting other people as they navigate cancer, from guiding patients through diagnosis and treatment to helping ensure progress in research will continue.

“Organizations like Conquer Cancer are important,” Frank says, “because they fund research for improving treatment and restoring people. Conquer Cancer funded the research that changed my life.”

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Lifesaving Options for Anya

Revisit the story of 19-year-old Anya Magnuson. Diagnosed with a rare and incurable blood cancer, Anya was running out of options until her Conquer Cancer-funded oncologist and his colleagues made a game-changing discovery.


Elevating Quality Care for Every Patient

Learn how your gifts helped us improve access to high-quality, equitable care for underserved patients by supporting ASCO’s Quality Programs.

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Generations of Courage

Listen to the story of Hattie Sherman, a third-generation hereditary breast cancer survivor. In this podcast episode, Hattie, her mother, and their Conquer Cancer-funded oncologist discuss cancer’s intergenerational impact, its challenges, and the crucial role your support plays in advancing treatment and care.

Discovery. You Fueled Discovery and Accelerated Breakthroughs in Every Area of Cancer Research and Care

Whether someone is treating cancer or trying to survive it, time is of the essence. Patients urgently need the kinds of treatments and cures that only happen with innovative research. Last year, your gifts supported the brightest minds in oncology, helping them continue to accelerate research for every type of cancer, from the common to the rare. In the process, you made a lifesaving impact in cancer care.

“The global impact of what we do at the American Society of Clinical Oncology cannot be undersold. This will impact thousands of patients around the world.” — Dr. Jyoti Patel, Editor-in-Chief, Cancer.Net

When Generosity Drives Discovery

Every year in Chicago, ASCO hosts the world’s largest gathering of oncology professionals from around the world. And, every year, the highlight of the event is the plenary session, when a select number of physician-scientists are invited to take the stage and present their research—work that’s been deemed among the most promising advances in oncology. At last year’s meeting, all four plenary presenters were previous recipients of Conquer Cancer's Young Investigator Award (YIA), a first that proves that the deep impact of your generosity is worth the wait and continued annual investment. The 2023 presenters included:

  • Dr. Deborah Schrag (1998) uncovered an effective treatment for patients with advanced-stage rectal cancer. 

  • Dr. Roy Herbst (1997) shared how a new drug shows promise for prolonging the lives of patients with lung cancer.

  • Dr. Ingo Mellinghoff (2003) found a treatment strategy for improving survival and quality of life for patients with glioma, a type of brain tumor. 

  • Dr. Alex Herrera (2014) showed how a new therapy reduces risks of cancer-related death for patients with advanced-stage lymphoma.

To explain what makes these discoveries—and the generosity that powered them—so significant, our Your Stories podcast welcomed Dr. Jyoti Patel, a clinical oncologist and editor-in-chief of Cancer.Net. Together with host Brenda Brody, Dr. Patel discusses the impact of donor-funded research, breaks down the complex science in listener-friendly terms, and explains what makes these findings significant for patients and the entire cancer community.

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Every Award Tells a Story

Learn how Conquer Cancer donors ensure that early-career researchers, like Dr. Jenny Ruiz, become seasoned physician-scientists and that lifesaving research keeps moving forward.


Researchers React to Receiving Support

Watch Conquer Cancer researchers react to learning their work would be funded. In 2023, we awarded more than $11 million to help the brightest minds in oncology pursue the most promising cancer research.

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Recognition for Research Milestones

Discover the research of Conquer Cancer grant recipient Dr. Ann Partridge, who was inducted into the Giants of Cancer Care® in 2023, along with fellow recipient Dr. Nikhil C. Munshi. The honor celebrates leading researchers whose work has advanced cancer care.

Impact. Your Impact was Immense, Supporting a More Innovative and Equitable Oncology Workforce for Patients Everywhere

We’ve seen incredible progress in the quest for better cancer treatments and cures—but we still have so much work to do. To empower people everywhere to conquer cancer, we must expand the horizon of cancer research and care by diversifying the field of physician-scientists contributing to it. In 2023, you demonstrated your continued commitment to making that happen by funding research breakthroughs that helped patients around the world, from the U.S. to South America to Africa and beyond.

“Two months after the ASCO meeting ... we published my first article in The Lancet. I had published before, but this gave me the energy and inspiration to pursue research.”— Dr. Fidel Rubagumya, four-time Conquer Cancer grant and award recipient

Conquer Cancer Grant Recipients Bring Research IDEAs to LIFe Around the World

When Dr. Fidel Rubagumya attended his first ASCO Annual Meeting in 2017, he knew that he belonged to a global community of the brightest minds in cancer research.

A clinical and radiation oncologist based in Rwanda, Dr. Rubagumya is a 2017 recipient of an International Development and Education Award (IDEA). Funded by Conquer Cancer donors, the IDEA program serves as a springboard for early-career oncologists in low- or middle-income countries by providing mentorship, networking, and support for their attendance at ASCO’s Annual Meeting. IDEA connected Dr. Rubagumya with pivotal networking and mentorship opportunities, which, in turn, equipped him with the vital resources he needed to improve treatment and care for patients back in Rwanda.

“After IDEA, I was inspired to do more research,” Dr. Rubagumya says, “but this meant that I needed to find funding outside Tanzania where I was training as a clinical and radiation oncology resident.”

Since then, Dr. Rubagumya has gone on to receive three more Conquer Cancer grants and awards. This milestone reflects the range of research opportunities that our donors support for physician-scientists and the patients they serve. Guided by his mentors, Dr. Rubagumya focuses on implementing an initiative called “Choosing Wisely,” which aims to integrate value-based care (a framework for seeking quality over cost) into treatment guidelines in sub-Saharan Africa and around the globe. These efforts were made possible by his initial experiences and mentorship connections through the IDEA program.

“One ASCO Annual Meeting led to several possibilities,” says Dr. Rubagumya, who is focused on health services research. “I was inspired by several sessions I attended during the meeting, specifically those dedicated to IDEA awardees.”


Building the Next Generation of Oncology Professionals

Learn how the Oncology Summer Internship (OSI) program is helping to build a more equitable and diverse oncology workforce—and why doing so is so critical for patient care.

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Better Radiation Treatments for Patients Abroad

Read about Dr. Aba Scott and how she and her team are bringing more effective and modern radiation treatment to patients with gynecological cancers in Ghana, thanks to Conquer Cancer donors.


10 Years of Advancing Women in Cancer Research

Learn more about Women Who Conquer Cancer (WWCC), which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2023. That’s 10 years of advancing women in cancer research, addressing gender bias in oncology, and increasing research funding for women in science.

2023 Financials*

2023 Financials


Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation
2318 Mill Rd, Suite 800
Alexandria, VA, 22314

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