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Canary Foundation and Stanford University Commit $20 Million for World-Class Research Center for Cancer Early Detection

Center will be the first in the world to integrate research on both in vivo and in vitro diagnostics to deliver blood and complementary imaging tests for solid tumor cancers

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Canary Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds research in early cancer detection, and Stanford University School of Medicine announced their commitment of $20 million to create the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection, a world-class research center dedicated to improving cancer early detection.

The new center will include a first-of-its-kind facility that combines in vitro and in vivo strategies to enhance future cancer detection and patient management. The center will include cancer proteomic research for early blood/body fluid markers (in vitro diagnostics) and molecular imaging (in vivo) to verify the presence and location of tumors. Currently, there is a lack of clinical tools that reliably detect signs of early tumors. If these tools were made available, the hope is that physicians would have a much better chance of treating and even curing cancer.

Canary Foundation is pledging $15 million toward the center, doubling its earlier commitment to support early detection research at the university. The medical school, together with the school's Department of Radiology, is committing $5 million through faculty recruitments, research facilities, and other infrastructure. The center will be led by Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, Ph.D., professor of radiology and by courtesy bioengineering, director of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford and a member of the Stanford Cancer Center, and will include new faculty hires in both ex vivo and in vivo diagnostics. The center is located in a newly renovated School of Medicine building on California Avenue in Palo Alto. It will have strong ties to the National Cancer Institute-designated Stanford Cancer Center with a view towards translating the early detection research into clinical practice.

"With the establishment of the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection, we've realized our goal in building the first integrated facility that can attract and develop the best minds in the world to tackle the problem of cancer early detection," said Don Listwin, founder and chairman of Canary Foundation. "The facility is a part of our vision for the future - the one we're working towards - where one day most cancers will be detected early and eliminated."

Early detection has proven value. One example is the Pap test. Thanks to this simple screening test, there has been a 70 percent decline in cervical cancer incidence and deaths in developed countries since 1950. Studies have shown that for nearly all types of cancer, the five-year relative survival rate is substantially lower when disease is caught in an advanced stage. In addition to saving lives, prevention and early detection have the potential to reduce the cost of treatments, which accounted for a staggering $93 billion in the U.S. in 2008.

John Hennessy, President of Stanford University states, "Throughout Stanford's history, we have recognized the importance of medical research and education and its role in serving the public, and today the Stanford medical community is a leader in cancer research. We are very grateful to the Canary Foundation for this gift establishing the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection. It will enable researchers to focus on early discovery, saving lives and benefiting many in the greater community."

"The Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection will leverage Stanford's unique technologies and innovations in order to accelerate new and improved tools for detecting the onset of cancer," said Philip A. Pizzo, MD, dean of Stanford's School of Medicine. "Early detection can greatly increase the odds of successful cancer treatment, and I am deeply grateful to Canary Foundation and its supporters for their commitment to our shared goal - to improve cancer detection and survivorship."

Canary Foundation, named after the "early detection" role canaries once played by alerting coal miners of hazardous fumes, is the nation's only nonprofit devoted exclusively to early detection of cancer.

About Canary Foundation

Canary Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the goal of identifying cancer early through a simple blood test and then isolating it with imaging. Since 2004, Canary has raised over $30 million to support early detection research. Its collaborative research programs span multiple disciplines and institutions. One hundred percent of donations go to early detection research activities. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Canary Foundation
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