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$2 Million Estate Gift Will Bolster Lymphoma Research

E. Hoffman Photo
Eveline Hoffman

In late 2019, the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine received a $2 million gift from the estate of Eveline Hoffman to advance pathbreaking lymphoma research. Eveline was a patient of Nancy Bartlett, MD, the Koman Chair in Medical Oncology at the School of Medicine.

“I was speechless,” Bartlett said, recalling hearing about the gift. “I never expected this. Eveline was really quite remarkable — vibrant, gracious, optimistic and appreciative even in the face of a very aggressive type of cancer.”

Eveline was diagnosed with diffuse B-cell lymphoma in 2014 and battled the disease off and on for four years, most of that under Bartlett’s care.

“From the beginning, Eveline and I recognized that Dr. Bartlett was very special, and we were confident that she was providing the best care,” said Eveline’s partner, Joel Strumph, who now lives in San Francisco. “She is a leading cancer expert who approaches her patients with a great deal of humanity and compassion.”

Before her death in July 2018, Eveline discussed with Joel her desire to support Washington University lymphoma research at Siteman through her estate. She knew Bartlett was working tirelessly to identify new, more effective ways to treat cancer and would be an excellent steward of any contribution she received.

“This gift reflects Eveline’s profound gratitude and respect for Dr. Bartlett,” said Eveline’s stepson Stanley Hoffman of St. Louis. “It also is a vote of confidence in her cutting-edge research.”

Bartlett and other Washington University investigators at Siteman are pursuing research that harnesses the power of the immune system to fight lymphoma. Eveline’s gift has bolstered four projects focused on novel treatments, including neoantigen vaccines, CAR-T cell therapy, natural killer cell therapy and new drug combinations.

The researchers are seeking competitive federal grants for this work. “In the meantime, Eveline’s support allows us to continue moving these projects along and hopefully produce some very good preliminary data,” Bartlett said. “To be able to keep your research going while you’re waiting on grant funding is extremely important.”

The Washington University lymphoma team at Siteman also will use Eveline’s gift to provide seed grants for pilot projects led by junior investigators. This funding will jumpstart efforts to expand the team’s scope of research.

According to Stanley, Eveline’s generosity is emblematic of her and the Hoffman family’s long-held values and principles. “My father, Alan R. Hoffman, who also lost the battle to lymphoma prior to Eveline’s passing, instilled a tradition of giving and philanthropy in our family,” he said.

For Joel, fulfilling Eveline’s wishes through the estate gift has been a meaningful way to honor her memory. “I hope that this research leads to successful new treatments for cancer patients like Eveline,” he said. “She would be thrilled to know that she helped bring about a breakthrough.”

The contribution means a great deal to Bartlett as well. “I cannot express my gratitude enough,” she said. “It is so inspiring that someone would have the confidence in me, my colleagues and Siteman Cancer Center to make this generous gift. Together, we are putting it to good use, working to ensure that patients like Eveline have better treatment options and outcomes in the future.”

To learn more about supporting Siteman through your estate, please call (314) 935-4725 or email friendsofsiteman@wustl.edu. Make a gift today!