Development of better and more effective cancer treatment received a fillip with a $250 million grant from Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker. It was announced on 13 April 2016 by Mr. Parker and aims in developing better cancer treatment and encouraging collaboration between major research houses in the field.
Sean Parker, who is the founder of the music file sharing Napstar and also the founding President of Facebook, said that he is putting the money into cancer immune therapy and hopes that it will be a major watershed in cancer research, and the society will benefit immensely from the research regardless of the cost.
Immunotherapy is the latest buzzword in Cancer Therapy, and the biggest case is the former US president Jimmy Carter, who has been cured of cancer after a course of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy envisages increasing the sensitivity of the body’s immune system and makes it identify a range of cancer cells.
Parker was deeply shaken by the death of close friend Laura Ziskin, a Hollywood producer, credited with producing popular films like “Pretty Woman”. She was also the founder of Stand Up To Cancer, which worked to increase awareness to overhaul cancer research. Parker said that losing Laura transformed him.
Parker felt that the present process of cancer drug research is deeply flawed and discouraged any risk taking which could lead to a major discovery.
Dr. Jedd Wolchok, ‘Chief Of The Melanoma And Immunotherapeutic’ unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center said that the new endeavor is a marked shifting in the process of cancer research.
Today the major part of any scientist’s time is spent in securing grants. It will now be history. The grant will also help better cooperation among expert scientists and make available for use the latest information processing and data technology.