One question we get asked a lot is “Why is your Foundation different from any other cancer foundation that funds cancer research?” A reasonable question from any potential donor, and one I asked myself before committing to the cause.
Over the past year I have learned a lot about cancer and cancer treatments, and as a layman tried to educate myself about the science behind Dr. Lampidis’ groundbreaking research. One key factor that attracted me and made me become an advocate for his work was the elegant simplicity of his science. He uses a false sugar called 2-DG to literally starve tumor cells which rely on glucose to survive in a non-oxygen (hypoxic) environment. This process (glycolysis) is so fundamental, it has survived a billion years of evolution dating back to a time when there was no oxygen in our atmosphere and the only source of energy that could be used to sustain life was sugar.
Combined with the fact that unlike other treatments that are limited to certain cancers, Dr Lampidis offers a universal approach to treating all types of cancer – and we are on the brink of something that could benefit mankind immeasurably.
So why aren’t pharmaceutical companies jumping all over this research to be first to market with a 2-DG wonder drug, you might reasonably ask? The unfortunate reality is that since this analog of glucose cannot be patented, drug companies are not financially motivated to devote their resources to help us develop it for further clinical trials. And although Dr. Lampidis has received almost continuous funding from the government in the form of National Cancer Institutes of Health Awards to investigate how and why 2-DG can best be delivered and applied in combination with other therapeutic drugs, due to dwindling federal resources, he must turn to philanthropy to keep his vital research moving forward.
Cancer is something that affects us all – whether personally or through someone who is close. As I approach the anniversary of the death of my best friend to this devastating disease this week, our efforts to bring this universal treatment to the world take on added relevance and poignancy for me personally. But whatever your motivation, if you’re looking for reasons to support us, given the far-reaching implications of Dr. Lampidis’ work the opportunity to be a part of this global legacy is hopefully reason enough.