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Promise and Progress - Helping Us Solve The Cancer Puzzle

The Time is Now: 2010-2011

Helping Us Solve The Cancer Puzzle

Date: November 11, 2010

Cancer Puzzle
Philanthropy is helping solve the cancer puzzle.

High Impact Philanthropy Translates Into High Impact Science
Research   >  Translation   >  Application

The generosity of many people and groups has allowed us to realize the promise of translational medicine.  Taking new ideas to the clinic is a costly proposition, insufficiently funded by public grants.  Each of our donors has played a part in making us a leader in translational research and is helping us solve the scientific mysteries of cancer to bring promising new therapies to patients.

Sidney Kimmel
Putting Our Center on the Cutting Edge of the Cutting Edge - With his landmark $150 million gift and the Kimmel Scholars program, Sidney Kimmel positioned the Cancer Center to make unprecedented strides against cancer.  Dean Edward Miller summarized its significance:  “We stand at the threshold of exponential discovery in the laboratory and the clinic.  We seek nothing less than the eradication of cancer in our lifetimes.  Mr. Kimmel’s generosity puts success within our reach.”

The Avon Foundation
Taking on Breast Cancer- In addition to providing the funding for the state-of-the-art Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center, the foundation makes annual gifts to support the Breast Center’s work.

David H. Koch, The Bunting Family, and the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation
The Home of Cancer Research - Within the last few years, technology has advanced to allow sequencing of all genes in a cancer cell.  Working in our cancer research laboratories in the Bunting?Blaustein Cancer Research Building and the David H. Koch Cancer Research Building, our scientists have discovered the gene sequences of 90 cancers and have already begun to apply their findings to cancer medicine. Our investigators also are leading the way in understanding and mapping the epigenome of cancer—cancer initiating alterations to the chemical environment of DNA.

The Children’s Cancer Foundation
A Champion of Childhood Cancer Research - For more than a quarter century, the Children’s Cancer Foundation has been a champion of pediatric cancer research at Johns Hopkins, providing vital support for the study and treatment of childhood brain tumors, leukemia, and other common pediatric cancers.

The Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research
From the Bench to the Bedside- As the largest private funder of translational research at the Kimmel Cancer Center, the Commonwealth Foundation has been instrumental in the development and rapid clinical translational of novel cancer treatment approaches, including cancer vaccines, cancer stem cell-targeted treatments, and bacterialytic therapy.

The Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI)
Understanding Lung Cancer in Never Smokers – About 15 percent of lung cancers occur in people who never smoked.  The genetic, cellular, and molecular nature of these lung cancers is different.  Our researchers reviewed data from several hundred studies to identify these distinct characteristics and linked mutations of the EGFR gene to these cancers.  They are exploring drugs that block or inhibit EGFR signaling as a potential new therapy.

Giant/Stop and Shop
Fighting for the Youngest Victims – Because adult cancers far outnumber pediatric cancers, research for childhood cancers is greatly underfunded. Vital support from Giant and Stop and Shop has allowed Kimmel Cancer Center researchers to study childhood cancers and uncover much-needed targets for therapy.

The Sol Goldman Charitable Trust and the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust
Underwriting the World’s Largest Gene Study – Establishing the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins, they were the lead funders of the most complete genetic analysis of pancreatic cancer.

Willard Hackerman
The Best and the Brightest – Helping to continue our tradition of excellence, programs like the Hackerman Laboratories allows us to attract and support the best and brightest researchers.

The Hodson Trust
The First Epigenetic Therapies - Investigators determined that inappropriate epigenetic activity contributes significantly to cancer causation and growth, and that unlike mutations in the DNA, can be reversed. Clinical trials of drugs that target epigenetic alterations and restore the function of tumor suppressor genes had promising results and led to the first FDA approval of an epigenetic-targeted agent. A newer combined approach in lung, colon, and other cancers is resulting in favorable responses in patients, even leading to regression of cancers that have spread.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Innovative Discoveries in Breast Cancer – Supporting innovative breast cancer research like intraductal chemotherapy, an approach that delivers anticancer drugs directly to the breast ducts, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a leading partner in our fight against the disease.

The Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Fund for Cancer Research
A Blueprint for Cancer - In the first comprehensive examination of cancer gene mutations, scientists at the Ludwig Center for Molecular Genetics mapped the genetic landscape of colon, breast, pancreatic, and brain cancers revealing a wide range of less frequently occurring mutations that vary from patient to patient and setting the stage for individualized approaches to cancer medicine. 

The Lustgarten Foundation
A Universal Test for Cancer - Using data from the whole genome sequencing of cancer patients, investigators have developed individualized blood tests for cancer. The genome-based tests, believed to be the first of their kind, are precise and specific, able to pluck one abnormal cell from within 400,000 normal ones.

The Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund (CRF)
Start-Ups for Young Investigators – Seed funding from the Maryland CRF has been vital to the early research of many young investigators at the Kimmel Cancer Center, providing support for them early in their careers when it is difficult for them to compete for funding against more established researchers. Many of them have gone on to become leaders in cancer research and treatment, leveraging their CRF support to gain millions more in research grants.

Molecular Staging of Cancer - For more than three decades, Johns Hopkins has earned more NIH grants than any other research institution. In an NCI-sponsored program that supports translational research, the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center was the first institution to earn multiple grants under the Specialized Projects of Research Excellence (SPORE). Through the Lung Cancer SPORE, researchers developed the molecular staging of cancers, revealing genetic alterations that make certain tumors, even those as small as a pea, very dangerous and aggressive.

Cancer Prevention In the Produce Aisle – Safeway has become a corporate leader in advancing cancer discovery, helping fund important new therapeutic approaches for breast and prostate cancers, including ones like cell-detoxifying broccoli sprouts, that comes directly from the grocery produce aisle

Stand Up to Cancer – Kimmel Cancer Center researchers were selected for two of five multi-institutional cancer research “dream teams.” One award focuses on epigenetics. Researchers are learning that in cancer, a disease characterized by genetic mistakes, genes are not only altered by direct mutations, but also by the way the DNA is packaged within the cell. Clinical trials that target epigenetic alterations are having dramatic results in patients

Albert P. “Skip” Viragh, Jr.
Advances Against Pancreas Cancer  - The Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care is helping speed the transfer of laboratory findings to clinical studies of new ways to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure pancreas cancer.

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