On Sunday, May 20, 2018 Stanford ophthalmologists, staff, researchers, patients, and people of all ages from the community put on their running shoes at Stanford’s Byers Eye Institute in Palo Alto. They came together for the First Annual Lookin’ for a Cure 5K Run/Walk for Ocular Melanoma .
The 5K circled the Baylands Nature Preserve. The Mahajan Lab members attended in full force and were enthusiastic supporters of the cause.
"We want our pateints to know that they are not alone. There is a whole community of people who care and support eye cancer research," Mahajan said.
It was the first such gathering of the ocular melanoma community in the Bay Area with a focus on helping support patients and their families by raising awareness and research funding for this rare disease. A Cure in Sight, the fundraising organization that supports ocular melanoma research, was on site. Survivors of ocular melanoma and their families and friends participated and picnicked at the event.
After the race, children enjoyed a jump house, and everyone lined up to get their faces painted by a professional face painter. The festivities came to a close with a raffle.
Ocular melanoma is the most common primary intraocular tumor arising from pigmented cells inside the eye. While surgical therapies can often save sight, there remains a high rate of metastases and mortality. Earlier diagnosis and new therapies are needed.
Dr. Mahajan and Dr. Prithvi Mruthyunjaya, Director of Ocular Oncology at Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University and organizer of the Lookin’ for a Cure 5K, are creating a molecular diagnostic platform to help ocular cancer patients.
"We are using an advanced protoemic analysis platform to search for molecular clues to help detect tumors at the earliest stages and identify biomarkers that can be targeted with the latest anti-cancer therapies," the doctors explained.
Funds raised by the race will help with this research. To support this effort, please visit our Make a Gift page.