In addition to its cancer-specific funding initiatives, TargetCancer Foundation supports innovative projects and efforts that contribute to the field of cancer research in general.
The Center for Molecular Therapeutics at Massachusetts General Hospital
Upon founding TargetCancer Foundation, Paul Poth sought out innovative and high impact research that would rapidly lead to effective treatments. His due diligence led him to the Center for Molecular Therapeutics (CMT) at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, where he awarded TargetCancer Foundation’s first grant. This $7,500 grant not only jumpstarted TargetCancer Foundation’s research efforts, but also created an initiative at that laboratory that continues to this day.
Using high throughput screening, the CMT tests over one thousand cancer cell lines against drugs in thousands of combinations and doses. The implications of these screens are significant and immediate. If a cell line responds to an existing, FDA approved drug, that treatment could be quickly put to use in patients.
Today, TargetCancer Foundation remains closely connected to the CMT. Cell lines generated through the TargetCancer Foundation Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Line Bank are entered into the screening program at the CMT, yielding critical new discoveries that would not have been made otherwise. In spring 2015, a new cholangiocarcinoma clinical trial opened based on discoveries made through this program opened.
The TargetCancer Foundation Medical Student Research Fund at Harvard Medical School
With a $25,000 grant, TargetCancer Foundation created The TargetCancer Foundation Medical Student Research Fund at Harvard Medical School. This fellowship program funded the summer studies of Harvard Medical students interested in studying rare cancers as well as new and innovative approaches to treating them.
This grant allows TargetCancer Foundation to support an elite group of medical students at one of the earliest points of their training, creating future leaders in rare cancer research.
Fellowships awarded to students have included the following research topics:
- The role of RagA in acute myeloid leukemogenesis
- Toward development of multimodality imaging biomarkers in treatment of brain tumor
- Improved imaging techniques for better diagnosis and tracking of pancreatic and ovarian cancers
- Merkel cell carcinoma clinical presentation, treatment, and survival: a population study
- Neurophysiology and endocrinology of hypothalamic obesity in craniopharyngioma
- Research into a specific cellular signaling pathway that is involved in ovarian cancer
- Tumor genotype and toxicity risk in glioblastoma