Uschi Keszler's Pennies-in-Action Cancer Research Fund

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Uschi Keszler's Pennies in Action Cancer Research Fund,[1] holding a full 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation status, exists to support research for breast cancer curative programs, including preventative vaccines and other biological therapies [2] that do not damage the immune system.


This philanthropic organization was founded in 2008 by Olympic figure skater, coach, inventor of the ice-skating term hydroblading, and choreographer Uschi Keszler who is herself a breast cancer survivor. The Pennies in Action fund recognizes, along with many experts, that vaccines, rather than chemotherapy remain the most advantageous avenue for dealing with cancer.[3] It has consequently targeted as its initial project the breast cancer vaccine research of surgeon and researcher in endocrinology and oncology Brian Czerniecki, M.D., Ph.D. on the staff of the Abramson Cancer Center of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Czerniecki has had success in clinical trials [4] and a history of gaining patents on inventions that increase antigens against cancer.[5]


Czerniecki’s extensive research,[6] supported in part by American Cancer Society and National Institute of Health grants, has already shown the safety and efficacy of delivering mature, peptide-pulsed dendritic cell vaccines in a variety of ways.[7] His research also has discovered alternate sentinel lymph node mapping possibilities [8] and opportunities to avoid axillary dissection.[9] He has discovered that immunohistochemical analysis improves the sensitivity of this procedure.[10] Currently the Rena Rowan Breast Center of the Abramson Cancer Center is seeking eligible patients[11] to continue clinical trials of Czerneicki’s alternative approach which focuses on the body's immune system and uses the patient’s own cells to develop a vaccine that will attack the cancer cells to prevent the development of invasive breast cancer.[12]


  1. ^ "University of Pennsylvania Developing Breast Cancer Vaccine". Young Coalition of Greater Philadelphia CVG Friends and Family Newsletter. 1 (2): 3. April 2008. 
  2. ^ - Breast Cancer Center
  3. ^ Danson S, Lorigan P (April 2006). "Melanoma vaccines--they should work". Ann. Oncol. 17 (4): 539–41. doi:10.1093/annonc/mdl055. PMID 16556849. 
  4. ^ Breast Cancer Information and Resources | Oncolink
  5. ^ Method for increasing the antigen presenting ability of leukemia cells - Patent Review 6358736
  6. ^
  7. ^ Bedrosian I, Mick R, Xu S, et al. (October 2003). "Intranodal administration of peptide-pulsed mature dendritic cell vaccines results in superior CD8+ T-cell function in melanoma patients". J. Clin. Oncol. 21 (20): 3826–35. doi:10.1200/JCO.2003.04.042. PMID 14551301. 
  8. ^ Bedrosian I, Scheff AM, Mick R, et al. (July 1999). "99mTc-human serum albumin: an effective radiotracer for identifying sentinel lymph nodes in melanoma". J. Nucl. Med. 40 (7): 1143–8. PMID 10405134. 
  9. ^ Reynolds C, Mick R, Donohue JH, et al. (June 1999). "Sentinel lymph node biopsy with metastasis: can axillary dissection be avoided in some patients with breast cancer?". J. Clin. Oncol. 17 (6): 1720–6. PMID 10561208. 
  10. ^ Czerniecki BJ, Scheff AM, Callans LS, et al. (March 1999). "Immunohistochemistry with pancytokeratins improves the sensitivity of sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with breast carcinoma". Cancer. 85 (5): 1098–103. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0142(19990301)85:5<1098::AID-CNCR13>3.0.CO;2-N. PMID 10091794. 
  11. ^ Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
  12. ^ Czerniecki BJ, Koski GK, Koldovsky U, et al. (February 2007). "Targeting HER-2/neu in early breast cancer development using dendritic cells with staged interleukin-12 burst secretion". Cancer Res. 67 (4): 1842–52. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-4038. PMID 17293384. 

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