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Guest Post: Dr. Richard Carvajal – #CUREOM Unite!

For the last decade, Dr. Richard Carvajal has dedicated his career to the research and treatment of rare cancers like ocular melanoma (OM) and understands the need for more funding to drive research breakthroughs in the field.

Dr. Carvajal currently serves as the Director of Experimental Therapeutics and Director of the Melanoma Service at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Carvajal is also the co-chair of the International Rare Cancer Initiative Uveal Melanoma working group, a joint initiative between the National Cancer Institute, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, and Cancer Research UK to enhance international collaboration in the conduct of clinical trials for uveal melanoma. 
As a medical oncologist, I have devoted 10 years to the treatment and research of rare cancers, particularly ocular melanoma (OM). I feel a deep, personal commitment and dedication to advancing research into effective treatments for those facing a cancer diagnosis. I see patients and their families battling OM every day. I’ve also seen my own family affected by cancer. There is a pressing need for better therapies for OM; however, research has been hampered by the limited funding available from governmental, philanthropic or industrial sources to support laboratory and clinical studies in this rare cancer. 
I was fortunate to receive a Career Development Award from the Melanoma Research Foundation to support my work investigating new forms of therapies for OM. These clinical trials are providing OM patients access to the newest and the most promising treatment strategies for their diseases. This funding could not have come at a more important time in my career; it helped boost my research and overall impact on treatments for patients within the OM community. Research is vital to developing new and better treatment options, and, ultimately a cure for OM.
Investment in research is an investment in lives.
I am inspired by the OM community and the way you have come together to raise funds for the #CUREOM Unite! research grant. Thank you for doing everything you can to support OM research. Like you, I am committed to pushing research forward toward a cure.
Written by Dr. Richard Carvajal 
There is STILL time to support the #CUREOM Unite! research grant – donations will be accepted until TOMORROW, October 15. Click here to join the OM community in a united effort to advance OM-specific research.