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Promise and Progress - A Major Gift for Kidney Cancer Research

The Time is Now: 2010-2011

A Major Gift for Kidney Cancer Research

Date: November 11, 2010

Kidney cancer research at the Kimmel Cancer Center will be getting a much-needed boost as result of a generous $1.5 million charitable bequest recently established by Mr. Rene Cuzon du Rest.

Michael Carducci, M.D., AEGON Professor in Prostate Cancer Research and co-director of the Prostate Cancer/ Genitourinary Oncology Program and Chemical Therapeutics Program will direct the donation to research aimed at a better understanding of the development and spread of kidney cancer and to study new therapies.

This gift will support the growing kidney cancer research efforts within the Center’s Genitourinary Cancers Program, expand clinical research efforts, and assist in the recruitment of translational scientists to specialize in kidney cancer such as Dr. Jenny Kim, who is studying personalized approaches to treating kidney cancer.

Kidney cancer strikes about 38,000 people each year.  It can be a particularly challenging cancer because it can grow quite large before it causes any symptoms.  For patients who are not cured with surgery, the kidney’s normal function can be a barrier to treatment. As the kidney’s job is to rid the body of toxins, it often dispels anticancer drugs before they can go to work against the cancer. New therapies have focused on blocking tumor blood supply, and these treatments are typically effective for a while and extend survival. 

However, tumors and sites where the cancer spread often develop resistance to these agents. Recent recruit, Dr. Hans Hammers is focusing on deciphering the mechanisms that cause the resistance and identifying new targets for therapy.

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