Inspired by Saturday's meeting of Idaho Priory No.13 of the Knights of the York Cross of Honor, I am writing about the philanthropic work of the Convent General for the order which is known as the York Cross of Honour Medical Research Foundation.
The York Cross of Honour Medical Research Foundation supports research for causes, prevention, and treatment of cancer and in particular treatment of Melanoma. Currently, the Foundation supports the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Located with Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, this center is one of the nation's premier facilities for cancer treatment and research.
Since 1980, the Knights have donated more than $1.8 million to support the work of researchers at the Cancer Center who are exploring promising new areas of cancer research. Their most recent gift of $75,000 is making it possible for Drs. Angeles and Turk to continue their vitiligo research. Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin condition that targets normal healthy skin cells that produce pigment. Cancer patients with vitiligo survive longer or have a better prognosis, but the exact reason is not known. The Turk Lab has discovered that mice with vitiligo have specialized immune cells called T cells in their skin. These T cells are extremely long-lived and potent killers of cancer cells. Dr. Turk is currently working with oncologists at NCCC to investigate T cells in melanoma patients with vitiligo.
From the website, our donations are financing a second program that "involves the study of cancer-drug resistance":
Resistance to cancer-inhibitor drugs typically develops within just months of beginning treatment, and thus represents a major clinical problem. Dr. Turk’s lab has discovered that the same biological pathways that drive cancer drug resistance also suppress cancer immunity. The Lab is now exploring novel therapies to overcome drug resistance and simultaneously improve anti-tumor immunity.
“If it wasn’t for the Knights’ support, this line of research—and the knowledge we gain from it—would be on hold”- Dr. Mary Jo Turk
1. Dartmouth College. (2016, August). Retrieved from Gifts from the Knights of the York Cross of Honour Fuel Immunotherapy Research at Norris Cotton Cancer Center: https://www.dartmouth.edu/~turklab/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2017/06/KYCH-2.pdf
2. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from About Norris Cotton Cancer Center: https://cancer.dartmouth.edu/about
3. Knights of the York Cross of Honor. (n.d.). Retrieved from About the Norris Cotton Cancer Center: http://www.kych.org/nccc.html
4. Knights of the York Cross of Honor. (n.d.). Retrieved from Medical Research Foundation: http://www.kych.org/mrfinfo.html
5. Knights of the York Cross of Honor. (n.d.). Retrieved from Long-Term Melanoma Immunity is Skin Deep: http://www.kych.org/nccc.pdf