American Cancer Society to Fund Studies on Checkpoint Inhibitors


 American Cancer Society  pic

American Cancer Society

A Washington, DC-based real estate investment professional, Mohsen Grayeli serves as president of ASAP, LLC, a holding company he launched in 2003. Beyond his professional pursuits, Mohsen Grayeli gives back to the community by supporting several organizations, including the American Cancer Society (ACS).

In a recent press release, ACS announced that it has launched a partnership with the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) to fund studies focused on minimizing the side effects associated with checkpoint inhibitors. A promising class of immunotherapy drugs, checkpoint inhibitors help trigger an immune response that sends the body’s T-cells to attack cancer cells. The drugs were first used to treat melanoma and have since been approved for use on cancer types affecting several areas of the body.

Although many patients experience few issues with checkpoint inhibitors, they have led to serious side effects and even death in others. Through the new partnership, ACS and MRA will fund pilot projects that aim to maximize checkpoint inhibitors’ effectiveness while minimizing their toxicity.

The organizations have committed a combined $2 million to fund one study at $1 million and five additional research projects at $200,000 each. ACS and MRA expect to award the first grants in spring 2018.


Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Stroke

American Stroke Association pic

American Stroke Association

Since 2003, Mohsen Grayeli has served as owner and president of ASAP Construction Management, a home-remodeling and investment company based in Washington, D.C. In his private life, Mohsen Grayeli contributes to many charitable organizations, including the American Stroke Association (ASA).

The ASA website provides information on stroke risk factors and tips for prevention. The greatest risk factor is high blood pressure, sometimes called the “silent killer” because no warning symptoms accompany the damage it causes to blood vessels. It is easy to test for high blood pressure, and several steps can be taken to prevent and manage it.

The ASA recommends a healthy diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in sodium and artificial sugars to reduce high blood pressure. Foods that are high in potassium, including bananas, apricots, and potatoes, help counteract the sodium in diets. In addition to adjusting diet to lower blood pressure, the ASA recommends avoiding smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly to lessen the risk factors for stroke.

Awareness, prevention, and treatment for high blood pressure have significantly improved in recent years. Some research indicates the rate of fatal strokes has gone down, and this improvement could be due to improved awareness and efforts to make these helpful lifestyle changes.

Anal Cancer on the Rise Across the World

Anal Cancer pic

Anal Cancer

During his tenure as president of ASAP, LLC, Mohsen Grayeli has spearheaded numerous government property renovations, including the Family Court of the District of Columbia Superior Court. In addition to his professional work, Mohsen Grayeli maintains an active role in supporting various charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society.

A recent study by the American Cancer Society shows that the rate of anal cancer is increasing across the globe, with the rate seeing a jump in both male and female populations in 13 different countries. According to study researchers, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination could serve as a helpful tool in the fight against the disease.

A rare form of the disease, anal cancer only affected about 27,000 people throughout the world in 2008. However, according to researchers that number is on the rise, especially in places such as the Americas, Northern and Western Europe, and Australia.

The leading researcher of this study, Farhad Islami, MD, PhD, surveyed data gathered by the Agency for Research on Cancer’s Cancer Incidence in Five Continents to determine the anal cancer rate across 18 different countries, with 13 showing a rate increase in a particular type of anal cancer known as anal squamous cell carcinoma (ASCC).

Islami says that his research indicates that ASCC rates could be increasing in these population due to a higher-than-usual rate of infection with HPV, which is typically found to be present in those diagnosed with ASCC. While the vaccine can protect an individual against HPV itself, researchers say that more study needs to be done to see if the vaccine has any direct preventative benefit against anal cancer.