Kristen and Kat supporting Draper Therapies Philanthropy Project

“Keeping with the core beliefs of Draper Therapies, having health, wellness, life and love provided to everyone is something that hits home the hardest, especially when one of their own has been affected by thyroid cancer. It has become the goal of Draper Therapies to help research blossom with other endocrine diseases where there may not be any type of treatment options. Endocrine diseases affect all animal species including canines and horses, so partnership with the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center was a natural step. Many of the treatment options that are gathered from human research will later get passed on to animals in order to help veterinary medical advancement in their appropriate fields.
With setting up this outreach effort we hope to spread the knowledge of overall health, wellness, life and love so that everyone including our four legged companions will have alternatives in the future”
In keeping up with our Philanthropy Project’s theme of endocrine disease research, it’s time for an update on what new breakthroughs have been made in that research!
Recently University of Michigan scientists and scholars led by President Mary Sue Coleman traveled to Brazil in hopes of strengthening research and academic collaborations with several leading universities and foundations. Education and research have become fast-growing sectors in Brazil, with a half-million graduates and 10,000 doctorates awarded each year. More than a quarter of all scientific papers by Brazilians have foreign co-authors. Brazil also is investing $1.5 billion in its “Science Without Borders” program, through which 100,000 Brazilian graduate and undergraduate students will have studied at a U.S. or European university by 2015.
The willingness of Brazilian colleagues to share DNA samples from their adrenal cancer cohort “has enabled us to leverage our sample set with the National Cancer Institute TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) platform that has now agreed to invest significant resources to sequence the adrenal cancer genome,” says Dr. Gary Hammer of U-M.
Clearly the partnership is working because according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, there are two different genetic mutations that cooperate to induce adrenal cancer. The finding provides new clues to this rare and deadly cancer type, and researchers hope it will lead to better treatments for the approximately 600 Americans diagnosed with adrenal cancer each year. The treatments will specifically target both mutations. The partnership between U-M and Sao Paulo has allowed researchers to collect tissue samples from 118 people with benign or cancerous adrenal tumors. By studying both benign and cancerous adrenal tissue samples, the researchers found aberrations in two genetic pathways. When tested on mice, the tumors only developed when both mutations were present, not just one or the other. New treatments will hopefully be developed to block both mutations.

Draper Therapies is proud to bring you these positive updates on the race for a cure for endocrine cancer as well as make donations to such a worthy cause. We look forward to bringing you more updates very soon!

Schnitzer, Vivian. “U-M group will visit Brazil to forge collaborations in education and research”. 9/4/2012.
Fawcett, Nicole. “Researchers find 2 gene mutations drive adrenal cancer”. 9/10/2012.