San Antonio Spur, Tim Duncan, through the Tim Duncan Foundation and Blackjack Speed Shop, has made a landmark donation of $247,000 to the San Antonio 1000 Cancer Genome Project, a Texas not-for-profit 501 (c) (3), Open Science research project launched in 2012 by START. Based in San Antonio, START’s mission is to accelerate the development of new anticancer drugs through Phase I research. With four clinic sites on three continents (the US, Spain and China), START is the largest provider of Phase I testing and treatment for patients with advanced cancer. START’s Phase I researchers can uniquely claim direct, hands-on involvement with the clinical development of 18 FDA approved anti-cancer drugs that are now in use by oncologists around the world.
The San Antonio 1000 Cancer Genome Project is a one-of-a-kind cancer genome research project that has theunprecedented support of more than 200 surgeons, oncologists, and cancer researchers from a broad spectrum of affiliations. This unparalleled collaboration is enabling researchers to step beyond the institutional barriers that currently fragment and piecemeal cancer research, and makes the San Antonio 1000 Cancer Genome Project the largest community-wide undertaking of its kind.
Through the support and involvement of these participating surgeons, START researchers are collecting fresh tumor tissue from 1000 patients with the 10 most common cancers in San Antonio. The project then aims to perform whole genome sequencing on both the cancerous and normal tissue from each patient. Then, for the first time anywhere, researchers will link this genetic information to the patient’s clinical outcomes. Most significantly, all data will be made available publicly at no cost to researchers worldwide. The project’s promise to make all data freely available is built on the belief that no single investigator or institution has all of the answers and encourages the involvement of outsiders who might bring fresh ideas to the urgent and complex problem of gene abnormalities and cancer.
Like most people, Tim Duncan has been touched personally by cancer, and hopes for a cure for cancer in his lifetime. Duncan says he was drawn to the San Antonio 1000 Cancer Genome Project, “because the information collected will ultimately be shared.”
“The idea that a group of cancer researchers were willing to set aside egos, to make the information freely available and work strictly for the greater good of curing cancer was exactly the type of cancer project I was willing to support,” Duncan said.