Please note that some translations using Google Translate may not be accurately represented and downloaded documents cannot be translated. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund assume no liability for inaccuracies that may result from using this third-party tool, which is for website translation.
Please note that some translations using Google Translate may not be accurately represented and downloaded documents cannot be translated. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund assume no liability for inaccuracies that may result from using this third-party tool, which is for website translation.

Devoted sister endows research fellowship for kidney cancer

Frank and Maura Shaughnessy

Summer 2024
By Cyrena Musset

Maura Shaughnessy has been a steadfast Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) rider for nearly 31 years, raising more than $2.8 million, but one thing she loves even more than cycling is her brother Frank. Maura and Frank come from a family of cancer survivors, and they are all too aware of the need for effective and long-lasting therapeutic discoveries. When Frank was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer in October 2020, Maura instantly connected him with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Inspired by the work of fellow PMC rider Toni Choueiri, MD, director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber and the Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg Professor of Medicine, Maura and her husband, Bernie Regenauer, established the Frank Shaughnessy Kidney Cancer Research Fund in 2021. Between 2021 and 2023, $1.67 million was raised with help from their family’s donation, as well as donations raised by Maura and Team MFS.

Frank’s treatment initially provided good results, but unfortunately he contracted COVID-19 in the fall of 2023, and needed to stop treatment for six weeks while he recovered. At his next scan, his care team discovered that the kidney cancer had spread to his lungs. Given this devastating development, Frank was placed on a brand new FDA approved drug, but that too was ultimately unsuccessful.

“All we can do now is hope and pray,” Maura said. “And I am hopeful that we will receive some good karma since Dr. Choueiri is just as passionately involved with Frank’s care now as he was on day one.”

“If we can do something that potentially gives another option down the road, that’s pretty good money spent in my mind.”

Maura Shaughnessy

With the hope for a brighter future for cancer patients, Maura and Bernie made a new gift of $1 million to establish the Frank Shaughnessy Endowed Fellowship in Kidney Cancer. This fellowship will complement the previously established research fund in Frank’s name and will afford Choueiri the ability to hire a renowned and respected researcher to work alongside him in the lab to demystify the biology of kidney cancer, how it proliferates, and to develop novel treatment strategies, such as natural killer cells and immunotherapies.

“Maura and Bernie’s endowed fellowship will allow us to double the number of fellows on our team while also educating and fostering the next generation of physician-scientists who will continue to expand this work,” Choueiri said.

“My brother hasn’t had a lot of breaks along this cancer journey—one could say he really hasn’t had any,” Maura said. “But if we can do something that potentially gives him and those who follow him another option down the road, that’s pretty good money spent in my mind.”

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