Department of Urology

July 28, 2017

Golf Tournament Raises $22,000 for Bladder Cancer Research

Dr. Jonathan Wright making remarks at the 2017 Howard J. Cohen Foundation Golf Tournament

UW urologist Dr. Jonathan Wright making remarks at the 2017 Howard J. Cohen Foundation Golf Tournament

Puget Sound golf enthusiasts and bladder cancer advocates came together in July to tee off for a great cause at the 4th annual Howard J. Cohen Bladder Cancer Foundation golf tournament, a fundraising event to support bladder cancer research at UW urology and affiliated research centers. Participants raised over $22,000 while enjoying Mukilteo’s beautiful Harbour Pointe course.

The largest fundraising event of the year for the Foundation, the golf tournament is an opportunity for the community to learn about and support research on the prevention, detection, and treatment of bladder cancer. Recognizing the need for increased awareness of the disease and more private research support to drive innovation, the Foundation was established in September 2014 by Seattle Hotelier Howard J. Cohen, just one year after he was diagnosed with the disease and successfully treated by UW urologists.

“This year’s tournament was a great example of our golfers and sponsors breathing in the suffering of bladder cancer and breathing out the compassion of support for research,” Cohen said.

Despite its prevalence, high cost of treatment and high mortality rate, bladder cancer receives considerably less research money than most other cancers, such as those of the breast, prostate, lung and blood. “Bladder cancer is the 6th most common cancer overall, but is 23rd in NIH funding,” said Dr. Jonathan Wright, UW Associate Professor of Urology and Medical Director of the UWMC Urology Clinic. “As a result, research funding support from organizations such as the Cohen Foundation is critical for us to advance in our fight against bladder cancer and develop our research programs.”

Foursome, from left, Knute Lund, Dr. Jonathan Wright, Dr. Brian Winters, and Department of Urology Administrator Joe Meno had the best score of the tournament at 58.

Knute Lund, Dr. Jonathan Wright, Dr. Brian Winters, and Department of Urology Director of Finance and Administration Joe Meno tied for the best score of the tournament with 58.

The keynote speaker at the tournament, Dr. Wright specializes in urologic oncology, with a specific focus on bladder, prostate and penile cancers. He noted in his remarks that past support from the Cohen Foundation helped fund research resident Dr. Brian Winters, who is now continuing as a urologic oncology Fellow in our program doing bladder cancer research.

“As bladder cancer is underfunded from a research perspective, private support is vital to establishing paradigm-changing research to improve existing treatments for this morbid disease,” reiterated Dr. Winters, who was recently awarded a prestigious Young Investigator Award from the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) for his work to discover new biomarkers and previously unrecognized therapeutic targets in bladder cancer.

Winters continued, “As a researcher, I have directly benefited from the Cohen Foundation’s funding, allowing me to collaborate on several translational bladder cancer projects to stimulate bladder cancer research and advance the field towards cure.”

The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, and smoking is the greatest risk factor for the disease. Learn more about the signs and risk factors for bladder cancer at BCAN.org or the American Cancer Society.

Learn more about how support from the Cohen Foundation is moving bladder cancer research forward:

You can support the critical research being done on bladder cancer by making a donation to the UW Urology Bladder Cancer Research Fund.