Why We DCC

Why We DCC


When you register to participate in DCC and join Team Hurricanes, you add to the powerful force that is Team Hurricanes in supporting the mission of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to reduce the human burden from cancer through research, education, prevention and the delivery of quality patient care.

“Now more than ever, the funds we raise through the DCC can impact the lives of our friends and family members who are struggling to overcome cancer.”

- Dr. Stephen D. Nimer, director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

One hundred percent of the funds raised by Team Hurricanes and other DCC participants are used to support cancer research at Sylvester. These funds stay right here in South Florida to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families. Because patients come from throughout the region, the impact is felt across all three counties where DCC, specifically the ride, takes place.

Dr. Nimer and his leadership team make a special effort to prioritize the use of the funds where they will have the most impact today and into the future. With this in mind, DCC funds are used to promote truly innovative programs, by recruiting and retaining the best physicians and scientists to Sylvester, and providing them with the technology and support they need to excel, as well as making sure that cutting-edge medications and technologies are available to treat cancer patients.

Nearly all of Sylvester’s senior leaders, and many of the physicians and scientists who receive support for their research, participate in DCC as a part of Team Hurricanes. Together, they are building a world-class cancer center!

Since its inception in 2010, DCC funds have been used for the following projects and programs:

Pediatric Oncology

  • Innovative cancer vaccine program for children and adults with brain tumors and sarcoma.
  • Targeted therapy in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
  • New immunotherapy approaches to improve cancer treatment in children.
  • Pediatric phase I clinical trials that offer experimental treatment to children with advanced cancer.

Targeted Therapy

  • Development of a viral-based treatment that is specially engineered to destroy cancer cells in patients with recurrent head and neck cancer.
  • Testing drugs that might neutralize Notch, a protein that seems to drive the growth of the most aggressive forms of esophageal cancer.
  • Developing new technologies to determine if malignant cells are circulating in the blood of cancer patients – fundamental to understanding the spread of cancer through the blood stream to other organs.
  • Studying “drivers” of the malignant behavior of breast cancer cells – in order to develop better targeted therapies for breast cancer patients.
  • Developing a unique method to grow cancer cells in the lab from each patient’s tumor so we can test new experimental therapies.

Radiation Oncology

  • Developing new techniques to enhance the delivery of radiation therapy and improve outcomes for patients with prostate cancer.
  • A state-of-the-art Image-Guided Adaptive Radiation Therapy (IGART) program.
  • Efforts to optimally use genomics for tailoring radiotherapy and systemic treatment for GU malignancies.

Stem Cell/Epigenetics

  • Collaborative research effort between Sylvester and Jackson Memorial’s Holtz Children’s Hospital for UM’s pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program.
  • Examining the response of patient’s tumors upon treatment with various experimental gene therapy strategies.
  • Expanding our adult Stem Cell Transplant Program.
  • Regulation of gene expression in cancer – to help define how certain mutations drive the growth of cancer cells.

Creation of the DCC Endowment Fund

To be used to support key, strategic recruits to enhance and grow Sylvester’s research programs and clinical trials portfolio, allowing Sylvester to bring the best of the best, which is critical to our mission.