Peggy's Story



The Peggy Spiegler Melanoma Research Foundation (PSMRF) is firmly committed to funding and supporting scientific melanoma research.


Recent studies about the causes, prevention and treatments of melanoma:
1.  Study Links Tanning Bed Use to Increased Risk of Melanoma.
2.  What's new in research and treatment of melanoma?
3.  Zelboraf  is the second melanoma drug approved this year by the FDA.

Since starting our fundraising efforts in 2009, PSMRF has granted funds to the following recipients:


Thomas Gajewski
Dr. Thomas F. Gajewski,
The University of Chicago
Medical Center
(Chicago, IL)

University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Dr. Gajewski investigates and develops new treatments for patients with melanoma. He has a special interest in the development of immunotherapies against this disease. Funds raised at our 2012 Murder Mystery night will be donated by PSMRF to support the research of Thomas F. Gajewski MD, PhD, at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

This gift will be made in honor of Chris Schenk who is being treated there.


Attached here are three of Dr. Gajewski's scholarly articles.

pdfmelanoma, university of chicago, vaccine, antigens, immunization

pdfmelanoma, university of chicago, vaccine, immunotherapy, ipilimumab=
pdfmelanoma, university of chicago, t cells, vaccines, immunotherapy


Dr. Sean Morrison,
The University of Michigan
(Ann Arbor, MI)

The Regulation of Melanoma Metastasis

The prediction, detection, and prevention of metastasis are among the most pressing clinical problems in melanoma. Yet we have little understanding of how metastasis is regulated in tumors because we have been unable to study the metastasis of melanomas obtained directly from patients, within the body. We have developed a new mouse assay that makes it possible to study metastasis by melanoma cells from patients with high sensitivity. We observe profound differences between patients in the extent to which their melanomas metastasize in these mice: melanomas from some patients metastasize widely while melanomas from other patients exhibit little or no detectable metastasis. These differences are reproducibly observed in multiple independent experiments, implying that differences among melanomas from different patients lead to differences in metastatic behavior. We hypothesize that genetic differences between tumors determine these differences. We will test this by genetically comparing tumors that exhibit extensive metastasis or no metastasis in mice. We will test whether changes in the expression of specific genes cause the observed differences in metastatic behavior. Using this approach we hope to identify new mechanisms that regulate the metastasis of human melanomas from patients. The discovery of genetic variants that predict which patients are most likely to metastasize, or by what routes, would change the treatment of melanoma.

Attached here are two of Dr. Morrison's scholarly articles.

pdfQuintana, Cancer Cell, 2010 ...|..pdfQuintana, melanoma, Nature




Melanoma: From Screening to Revolutionary New Therapies,   Medical Education Seminar sponsored by MD Anderson Cooper Cancer Center


On Wednesday, June 3, 2015, PSMRF is co-sponsoring a Continuing Medical Education Seminar, “From Screening to Revolutionary New Therapies” at The Westin, Mount Laurel, NJ.  The event is being hosted by the MD Anderson Cooper Cancer Center for medical personnel. 


pdfEvent Flyer




Left to Right: Dr. Arnold M. Baskies, MD, FACS , Neil Spiegler, PSMRF,  Dr. Lerman and Michael A. Davies, MD, PhD


Lunch and Learn session about Melanoma for Zurich Insurance Company employees


May is Melanoma Month at Zurich Insurance Company.  They are sponsoring an employee Melanoma Awareness/Information session on Wednesday May 6th at their offices where Dr. Emily Chu,  University of Penn Hospital and Neil Spiegler from PSMRF will be speaking.


pdfEvent Flyer








PSMRF is committed to support and fund public programs which spotlight on the latest in medicine and research in order to disseminate educational information about the prevention of melanoma and other skin cancers. If treated early, melanoma is usually preventable.


cooperCooper Cancer Institute, Camden, NJ

(a PSMRF medical partner)

On January 20, 2013, Cooper Cancer Institute staff presented the melanoma component of what they call their "Grand Rounds". The presentation was given to doctors, nurses and staff by Dr. Naomi Lawrence. The lecture was very well received by an overflow crowd. A lot of discussion followed Dr. Lawrence's presentation. Everyone who attended this session received CME credits.


As a result of some recent research findings for the treatment of melanoma, the disease is getting a lot of attention in the research and medical fields.

On January 16, 2013, PSMRF presented a check in the amount of $25,000 to Cooper Cancer Institute. These funds will provide a significant amount of support to their Cooper in the Schools Program.These programs are held locally primarily for educators, nurses, trainers et al to provide better understanding of health issues.


Left to Right: Neil Spiegler, Executive Director PSMRF
Dr. Generosa Grana, Director Cooper Cancer Institute
Susan Bass Levin, President & CEO Cooper Foundation

(click on an image to see it bigger)

Shore Memorial Hospital, Somers Point, NJ


Funds raised at our first annual "Coach Wilk" Golf Tournament
will be donated by PSMRF to Shore Memorial Hospital. This grant will be used by Shore Memorial to fund public seminars and speeches by staff physicians about the identification and prevention of melanoma and other skin cancers. The first presentation will take place at the Golf Tournament in October, 2011.


The grant will be made in honor of George Wilkinson who is being treated there.

pdfLetter of acknowledgment

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA
(a PSMRF medical partner)


Again in 2013, PSMRF has awarded a significant grant to the Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, in the name of Peggy Spiegler.

A large portion of this grant will fund  melanoma seminars by Dr. Lynne
Schuchter, a leading physician in the melanoma field, for medical students.
In addition, this year, funds will be used by Abramson Cancer Center to help
support families who are coping with the issues of having a family member
battling melanoma


. ....

Melanoma Seminar January 24, 2013 and check presentation of $25,000 to Lynne Schuchter for the Abramson Cancer Center. (click on an image to see it bigger)