Legacy Research Institute receives $5 million gift to advance groundbreaking approach to cancer treatment
Imagine the ability to treat each patient based on their own biology and the biology of their cancer cells within days.
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.
In search of an answer, Dr. Boison and Dr. Perkins have developed a creative approach to fighting cancer. Instead of the traditional top-down method, which eradicates both healthy and cancerous cells, their targeted personalized therapy works at the metabolic level to kill cancer cells by manipulating adenosine kinase, an enzyme that controls cell proliferation.
To help further this pioneering cancer research, the Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni Foundation have pledged a transformational gift of $5 million to the Legacy Health Foundation. “Funding early stage research is absolutely crucial to continuing the momentum of discovery that we are experiencing in the field of cancer treatment,” says Angela Hult, president of the Kuni Foundation.
“Philanthropy has a unique opportunity – and responsibility – to explore the tributaries of ‘what if’ and we are thrilled to collaborate with Legacy Research on their cutting-edge discoveries that would change the landscape for patients and their families,” she says.
And, through Legacy’s innovative partnership with the Kuni Foundation, any life-saving cancer treatment derived from this research will be made affordable and accessible for all patients.
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 a through lengthy testing process to gather the necessary evidence. These tests take time, specialized equipment and expertise, and money.
“Take findings in the laboratory and transforming it to medical care – that’s what the Legacy Research Institute does best,” says Joe Frascella, Ph.D., vice president, Legacy Research Institute. “Philanthropy is a vital spark for innovation."
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