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Cancer Research

Cancer Research Initiative

It all began with a question

During a presentation by Detlev Boison, Ph.D., on a key regulator of metabolism, which naturally occurs in all living cells, Serene Perkins, M.D., Legacy's director of surgery and clinical research and a cancer surgeon herself, had a question: “How does this regulator affect cancerous cells?”

Dr. Boison and his team decided it was worth their time to find out.

A creative approach to fighting cancer

Dr. Boison and Dr. Perkins have assembled an international team of experts to study tumors from Legacy patients to develop a breakthrough cancer treatment.

Instead of the traditional top-down approach, which eradicates both healthy and cancerous cells, their targeted, personalized therapy works at the metabolic level to kill cancer
by manipulating adenosine kinase, an enzyme that controls cell proliferation.

A generous seed investment

Legacy Health Foundation has received a transformational pledge of $5 million from the Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation to fund this highly innovative cancer research project. Download the press release

As the cost of cancer treatment continues to escalate, the Kuni Foundation and Legacy Health Foundation collaborated on a unique approach designed to enhance both affordability and accessibility for all patients; specifically that a portion of all future proceeds derived from Legacy's adenosine kinase research be directed toward affordable access to cancer treatment for all patients. Read more here.

“Funding early stage research is absolutely crucial to continuing
the momentum of discovery that we are experiencing in the field of cancer treatment.
Philanthropy has a unique opportunity – and responsibility – to explore the tributaries of ‘what if?’
and we
are thrilled to collaborate with Legacy Research Institute on their cutting-edge discoveries
that could change the landscape for patients and their families.” 
– Angela Hult, president of the Kuni Foundation

A new hope

If this cancer project continues at its current pace, we expect to apply to the FDA for investigational new drug approval within five years. Before that can occur, we must go through a lengthy testing process to gather the necessary evidence. These tests take time, specialized equipment and expertise, and money.

“Philanthropy is a vital spark for innovation and scientific breakthroughs.
Taking findings in the laboratory and transforming them directly to improve medical care
. . . that’s what Legacy Research does best.”
– Joe Frascella, Ph.D., vice president of Legacy Research Institute

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