Stopping Cancer Early – The Best Possible Investment


Posts Tagged ‘early detection’

How Long Have We Been Plagued by Cancer?

August 13, 2012

Written by guest blogger and Canary Intern Abbie Lieberman, who researched and wrote this brief history.

Although there has been a surge in the prevalence of cancer in recent decades, cancer has actually been affecting people for centuries. The first documented case of cancer comes from ancient Egypt. According to the American Cancer Society, there are eight documented cases of breast cancer found on papyrus dating all the way back to 3000 B.C. Even the term cancer has been around for centuries— Hippocrates, the Greek physician who is widely considered the Father of Medicine, used the words carcinos and carcinoma to describe tumors. These Greek terms were also used to describe the crab because Hippocrates thought that tumors resembled crabs.

Two views of Clara Jacobi, a Dutch woman who had a tumor removed from
her neck in 1689. Includes text which describes the tumor and its removal.

Despite its long history, cancer is often considered a modern disease because its impact on modern society is much more substantial than its impact on previous peoples. In Steve Shapin’s article Cancer World, he expresses his view that “the rise in cancer mortality is, in its way, very good news.” Although this statement may seem unsettling, he does make a strong point. Part of the reason cancer has become a primary cause of death in the United States is because we live so much longer than we used to.  As a society we are more protected against sweeping infectious diseases; we live long enough for cancer to express itself.  Shapin traces our modern fight against cancer back to 1971 when President Nixon declared the War on Cancer. Even though the United States (or any country) has yet to win the “war,” this political effort did successfully strengthen the national effort against cancer. More »

The Stanford Dish and Cancer Detection Connection

July 18, 2012

Co- authored by Abbie Lieberman.

Most of us who live or spend time on the San Francisco peninsula are familiar with the Stanford dish. The Dish, visible off interstate 280 near the Alpine Road exit, was built in 1966 by the Stanford Research Institute and spans 150 feet in diameter. The United States Air Force originally funded the project to study the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Its role has changed over the years, but the Dish is still actively used to conduct an array of research. In his book, The End of Medicine (Collins, 2006) author Andy Kessler, a Silicon Valley local, mentions the Stanford Dish as he explored advances in medical technology that he hopes will fundamentally change the way our health care system works. He stumbles upon an intriguing relationship between the dish and cancer research.

More »

Canary Chicks for the Canary Challenge

July 9, 2012

In this video, Aruna Gambhir, Donna Novitsky, and Lori Laub introduce the Canary Chicks, a group of riders who get together to have fun during the Canary Challenge. Here, they give pointers for riders, chat about the event, and speak candidly about the difficulty level of the Canary Challenge course. Learn more and register for the event:

Peter Nelson on Canary’s Prostate Cancer Research Program

June 18, 2012

Peter Nelson, Prostate Cancer Team Leader at the Canary Center and researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, provides an overview of Canary’s Prostate Cancer Research Program. He talks about goals for the research program, explaining how researchers work on biomarkers that will determine if cancers are lethal vs. non lethal (aggressive vs. indolent). He also explains the Canary Tissue Microarray (TMA) Project, as well as giving an overview of what success looks like for the Canary Prostate Cancer Research Program.

Canary Innovation: Measurable Progress, Real Results

June 4, 2012

Here at Canary Foundation, one of our highest priorities is building a culture of innovation, which we leverage to produce results, save time and lower costs. Both our scientific programs and administrative initiatives reflect these disciplines. We’re proud to report that this approach is helping Canary demonstrate real results in the work we do:

  • Canary Foundation developed the first test for a new lung cancer biomarker identified by the team. While tests exist for other biomarkers, there were none for this one, so the team created a test that is now available for any research institution to utilize.
  • Our prostate cancer clinical trial called PASS (Prostate Active Surveillance Study) is the only multisite clinical trial for men on active surveillance.  This way of organizing a trial is now being recognized as the most viable way of conducting trials to monitor men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer.
  • Canary Foundation’s Tissue Microarray (TMA) project has also led the way in scientific research. Digitized tissue images and a standardized way to conduct digital analyses were the innovations that provide researchers with an online way of sharing and analyzing data that is not the norm in scientific research.
  • The Canary Center at Stanford for cancer early detection is the first in the world studying the two-test process of identifying cancer through a blood test and pinpointing the location of the tumor through molecular imaging. More »

The Founder’s Fund

May 15, 2012

Silicon Valley is famous for its ability to take an existing idea or product and revolutionize it, making it better, cheaper, and more accessible to the public.

Canary Foundation’s Founder, Don Listwin, took passionately to bringing this approach to the flailing and antiquated health care business, which invested little in cancer early detection. Most of our community members are familiar with Don’s emotional story of losing his mother to misdiagnosed cancer. His story is a testament to the scars cancer leaves on all of our lives, as well as the power of people coming together to fund something that will have a lasting impact—impact on the future of cancer early detection, and on the lives of our loved ones.

A seasoned technology executive, Don established a plan to catalyze cancer early detection. He founded Canary Foundation to bridge the gap between academic research and an industry that no longer actively invests in early detection research. Our goal is to leverage the research we do in developing biomarkers and imaging technology to create widely accessible tests that screen for cancer, even during routine checkups.

By approaching health care technology with the same results-driven mindset as consumer technology, Canary Foundation is changing the game for early detection research and innovation. Investing early in innovation and attracting other funding exemplifies the high impact model Don built at Canary. Staying true to the model, we pool expertise, focus on results, and stay conscious about resource allocation.

Canary Foundation’s Founder’s Fund takes this last idea to heart. The Founder’s Fund is a special reserve that allows for Canary Foundation to fund special projects, communications and events and unmet needs that keep Canary on task to make cancer early detection a reality. We invite you to learn more about the Founder’s Fund and join others in supporting the Canary mission.

Why I Chose Early Detection Research at the Canary Center

February 28, 2012

As a scientist, I knew early in my career that I wanted to focus on research that would affect human health and suffering. In 2012, I joined the team at Canary Center at Stanford because I recognized that I had an unparalleled opportunity to do early detection research that will impact millions of lives – for the better. I invite you to learn more about the ground breaking research we do at the Canary Center at Stanford and why early detection is critical to the fight against cancer.


Welcome to the Canary Blog: Starting the Conversation

December 12, 2011

As Executive Director, I’d like to welcome you to discover and explore the brand new Canary Foundation website and blog. Over the last few months, we’ve been rediscovering our values, finessing our messaging, and evaluating methods of communication with donors and with the public. Building a new site and blog from the ground up has been a new experience (to say the least), but we’re thrilled with the results and hope you are as well!

Accountability has always been at the top of our list of core values. It’s of the utmost importance for us to communicate how donations are allocated for research, in addition to keeping our audience abreast of Canary’s latest scientific progress. On this blog you’ll find both of the above, as well as trends in cancer early detection, foundation news, multimedia content, event updates, and more.

Our goal is to facilitate candid conversations around what’s going on here at Canary- how we’re blazing trails in cancer early detection, how our research impacts communities and individuals, and how you can help.  We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but we’re 100% committed to meeting our goal of creating simple tests that will identify cancer at it’s earliest and most curable stage.  We invite you to develop a dialogue with us by commenting on our blog content, and through engagement on our social media channels.

Welcome again to the Canary blog- let’s get this conversation started!