“It’s okay to fall down.
It’s not okay to stay down.”
– Harold “Hal” Eisenberg

Since 1999, after Harold “Hal” Eisenberg lost his life to liver and pancreatic cancers, the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation has honored his memory by funding breakthrough research to fight gastrointestinal (GI) cancers and increase survivorship.

We work in partnership with the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, a national leader in the battle to overcome cancer. Our shared goal is to raise awareness and funds to advance life-saving cancer medicine.

What is GI Cancer?

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer is cancer of the organs of the digestive system, including the pancreas, liver, stomach, colon, esophagus, gallbladder, small intestine and rectum.


Results by the Numbers

  • This year, there will be an estimated 1.7 million new cancer cases. GI cancers will account for nearly 20% of these cases.
    Over $3 million committed to fund breakthrough research to fight GI cancers.
  • Colorectal cancer is the 4th most common cancer diagnosed and the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.
    Over 26,544 cancer tissue samples collected and used for research in the HEEF GI Cancer Tissue Bank.
  • Liver cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for more than 31,000 deaths each year.
    Nearly 100% of eligible cancer patients donate to the tissue bank each year. 
  • Pancreatic cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States and has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers.
    18 years of partnership with the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University, a national leader in cancer medicine.
  • Esophageal cancer is 4 times more common among men than among women.
    The Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of only two comprehensive cancer centers in Illinois

Driving Impact - Working Together with Northwestern

Northwestern Logos

The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation is proud of its longstanding partnership with the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, led by Director Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD and Director for Cooperative Groups Al Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO. Since 2001, we have committed over $3 million to advancing GI cancer research and patient care.

Announcing the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation GI Cancer OncoSET Program

OncoSET is an unprecedented initiative to deliver personalized, effective cancer treatments to patients who currently have very limited options.

Learn more
GI Cancer Tissue Bank

The Harold E. Eisenberg GI Cancer Tissue Bank — the first of its kind in the Midwest — is at the forefront of cancer medicine. Samples allow researchers to study what characterizes cancer tissue to improve prevention, detection and treatment. The bank stores over 25,150 samples and grows each month.

Research Scholars

In 2023, we awarded $50,000 to support the work of Research Scholars Shannon Lauberth, PhD and Hidayatullah Munshi, MD. Dr. Lauberth’s work will be focused on RNA based therapeutics for treatment of colorectal cancer. Dr. Munshi’s work will be focused on the KRAS mutation for pancreatic cancer. The research scholar award gives scientists the necessary resources and time needed to ask novel research questions and explore new ideas related to GI cancers.

Clinical Trials

The Foundation continues to invest in professionals like Victoria Maurer, the program’s clinical research nurse, who plays a vital role in the tissue bank’s activities. Nurse Maurer coordinates all ongoing clinical trials, identifies participants for studies and works with patients and their families during testing and follow-up care.

Patient Care

We continue to improve patient care offerings by supporting clinical trial efforts and annual events like Conversations about Colorectal Cancer, which helps colorectal cancer patients and their families network and learn about new treatments, clinical trials and survivorship.

Stewardship Report

Your Gift Helps Patients Give the Real Gift

Donations from generous supporters like you allow the Lurie Cancer Center to collect, store and research cancer tissue samples. Each dollar brings us closer to personalized medicine and life-saving treatments.

Donate Today
The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation
1460 Techny Road, Northbrook, IL 60062
847-433-3050   info@eisenbergfoundation.org