Philanthropy gives flight to big research ideas
By Karen Doss Bowman
Photography by Sonya Revell
hen Anthony Beyer of West Palm Beach, Florida, was diagnosed with melanoma three years ago, he traveled miles away to a specialty center for treatment. But after the cancer metastasized to his liver and he experienced serious side effects from immunotherapy drugs, Beyer found world-class care close to home.
Beyer was referred to José Lutzky, M.D., director of both cutaneous oncology services and the Clinical Trials Coordinating Unit at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System. He credits Dr. Lutzky with saving his life.
“Dealing with the side effects is as much an art as it is a science,” said Beyer, principal at Poinciana Capital Partners. “Dr. Lutzky was just fantastic. The care that I received at Sylvester was second to none. There’s no reason anybody in Florida should leave the state for great care.”
Grateful for the care he received, Beyer wanted to support Dr. Lutzky’s research. He donated $250,000 to support a clinical trial on ocular melanoma, a rare type of eye cancer.
“Philanthropy provides seed money for ideas for which there is no other funding,” said Dr. Lutzky, who is also a professor at the Miller School. “To get grants from national funding agencies for translational research ideas, you need preliminary data to show that your idea has a good chance of leading to something promising. That’s where philanthropy comes in — to funding those early projects that are full of promise.”
For more on giving to Sylvester, visit miami.edu/CureCancer
Dr. Jose Lutzky