March 8, 2016
Dear Vice President Biden,
Allow me to first express how sorry I was to hear about the untimely death of your son Beau from cancer. Please accept my sincere condolences. We have all lost too many family members and friends to this devastating disease, and finding a cure must become a global priority.
I was immensely encouraged to read your recent, timely announcement regarding Project Moonshot, and your call to arms to the global scientific community to accelerate the search for a cure for cancer. This is something that I have devoted my professional life to, and am writing to ask for your assistance to provide the final breakthrough.
Our laboratory has gained international recognition and leadership in the exploitation of increased glucose metabolism in cancer cells using the sugar analog 2-deoxy-D-glucose (better known as 2-DG) as a universal treatment for cancer. Until three years ago, our work had received almost continuous funding in the form of grants from the National Cancer Institute, who themselves have stated in their reviews of our lab’s research that “Dr Lampidis’ work could eventually lead to cures in certain cancers.”
I, as well as a growing number of research scientists and physicians from the global community (many of whom have endorsed this letter) believe that the biochemical principles supporting 2-DG as a universal treatment for cancer are as fundamental as the physical laws governing gravity.
The following brief paragraph will explain why.
Molecular biology has demonstrated that all the major genes (oncogenes) responsible for driving cancer also have a pathway by which they increase glucose uptake within all tumor cells regardless of their origin. These findings support and explain results from millions of PET scans demonstrating that glucose is taken up more by tumors than normal tissues. Our discovery is based on the fact that the cancer cells most resistant to chemotherapy found within the inner core of all solid tumors do not receive enough oxygen, and therefore must rely exclusively on sugar to survive. Feeding these hypoxic tumor cells a false sugar such as 2-DG effectively ‘starves’ them to death. We have proven this time and again in in vitro and in vivo studies.
Unfortunately, despite a very promising and successful Phase I clinical trial, we have hit a major roadblock in our funding. The sad reality is that given the non-patentable nature of 2-DG and the resulting dis-incentive to the pharmaceutical industry, not to mention politics and conflicts of interest within grant setting bodies, our funding has dried up. Thus, we have had to resort to philanthropy and the tireless work of volunteers to raise awareness of our cause of bringing this universal cancer treatment through the remaining phases of clinical trials to make it available to patients. It will take the vision and support of individuals in positions of authority to achieve that. I believe that you are ideally positioned to lead the way and champion a cause that will benefit mankind immeasurably.
Three weeks ago, a review article titled “Energy disruptors: rising stars in anticancer therapy” was published in a Nature sponsored journal citing our work and extolling the virtues of 2-DG as an anticancer agent. The authors conclude their discussion of 2-DG questioning: why are there no further clinical trials at NIH with 2-DG? This unsolicited and non-biased endorsement adds to the growing interest in the scientific community in 2-DG as a universal treatment for cancer.
I have attached a link to a review paper we published last year titled, “The Wonders of 2-DG” which explains the science in more detail.
I would welcome an opportunity to meet with you and your team to discuss the importance of this work and the urgent need for your assistance to ensure that this viable cure for cancer is not overlooked.
Theodore J. Lampidis, Ph.D.
The following have endorsed this letter:
Timothy G. Murray, MD MBA FACS, Founding Director, Miami Ocular Oncology and Retina (MOOR) Miami, FL; Metin Kurtoglu, MD, PhD Medical Oncologist, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey. Mark A. Lehrman, PhD Professor of Pharmacology, UT-Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX. Luis E. Raez MD FACP FCCP, Chief Hematology/Oncology & Medical Director, Memorial Cancer Institute, Hollywood, FL. Frederic Bost, PhD, Research Director, INSERM U1065, C3M 151 Route de St Antoine de Ginestière, Nice, France. Jiyong Liang, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Systems Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Houston, TX. Bilikere S Dwarakanath, PhD, Professor, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, India. Javier Cortes MD PhD, Head, Breast Cancer and Gyn Tumors, Ramon y Cajal University Hospital, Madrid, Spain; Investigator, Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Barcelona, Spain. Steven J. Melnick, Ph.D., M.D., Chief, Department of Pathology and Clinical Laboratories, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Miami, FL. Jean-Ehrland Ricci, PhD, Research Director, INSERM U1065, C3M, 151 Route de St Antoine de Ginestière Nice, France. Guillermo DeAngulo, MD, Associate Professor, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Miami, FL. Branko Cuglievan MD, Pediatric Oncology fellow, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Cristina Munoz-Pinedo, PhD, Group Leader – Oncology Program, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), Barcelona, Spain. Steven Vanni, DO, DC, Neurosurgeon, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Associate Professor of Clinical Neurological Surgery, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Miami, FL. Katherine B. Philips, PhD, Health Care Education Manager, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, VA. Jonathan C. Maher, PhD, Scientific Director, Biopharmaceutical Professional, Chicago, IL. Keith Webster, PhD, Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Director, Vascular Biology Institute, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL. Guy J. Leclerc, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Miami, FL. Regina M. Graham, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Director UMBTI Research Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL. Gilles M. Leclerc, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Miami, FL. Cheppail Ramachandran, PhD, MBA, Sr. Research Scientist, Department of Pathology, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Miami, FL. Medhi Wangpaichitr, PhD, Research Scientist, Miami VA Healthcare System, Miami, FL. Mitchel A. Gregg, MD, Diplomat, American Boards of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, Chief of Radiology, Gastro Health, Miami, FL. Daniel James Snyder, FACHE, CEO, Asia Pacific Partners, Mumbai, India. Leyan Phillips, Executive Director, Lampidis Cancer Foundation, Miami, FL.
Photography courtesy of NBC Nightly News