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Having worked in biotech and novel drug development, I have been the one for our companies who was the patient interface, and carry with me in my heart allof those childhood cancer patients whose parents would call, desperate for a new trial/novel therapy, and for whom the answer was always "no". Our system for advancing medicines for kids with cancer is broken - there are major economic disconnects, and yet there are ways we can tackle these challenges through novel approaches and collaborative thinking .In September 2016 I founded the Canines-N-Kids Foundation, based on some of my experiences with a parallel canine cancer trial we had run to help us inform our understanding of our novel drug, while also helping man's best friend. It turns out that kids and pet dogs develop many of the same cancers - some identical (including osteosarcoma, certain brain cancers, lymphoma and leukemia).Just as for kids, there is tremendous unmet need for canines, and there are many more of them exhibiting these shared cancers, which they likewise develop spontaneously. By studying and treating cancer in canine cancer patients when they are sick, we can leverage what we learn to help kids at the same time, accelerate pediatric cancer drug development, and ultimately new and better treatments for these most vulnerable populations. Comparative oncology, in other words, has great promise, and this is the basis of Canines N Kids' work - to raise awareness, and to fund transformative translational research to benefit both. We have assembled an incredible team of pediatric and veterinary oncologists, genomics, immunology and translational experts – brilliant people (like Greg Aune) who have not traditionally worked together before around this mission. We would be proud to stand with PAC2!
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