"In one of the largest-ever donations to cancer research, Ludwig Cancer Research of New York City announced today that it is contributing $540 million to try to resolve continuing mysteries about how cancer starts, spreads and can be thwarted.
The unrestricted money for six cancer research centers established by earlier Ludwig donations is intended as a final gift from the philanthropy founded by the late Daniel Ludwig, a shipping magnate and real estate owner, which has now contributed $2.5 billion globally to cancer research.
The six centers, launched in 2006 with initial grants from Ludwig, are each expected to invest their $90 million and spend the annual income from those investments – about $4 million to $5 million – to fund basic scientific research.
Each of the six centers will have a different research focus. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scientists will address the problem of cancer's spread, known as metastasis.
"Metastasis is ultimately responsible for 90% of cancer-associated mortality," said cancer biologist Robert Weinberg, who directs the Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology at MIT.
Despite the lethal power of metastasis, Weinberg said scientists still can't answer basic questions about it, such as: how do cancer cells get out of the primary tumor, how do they escape to form secondary tumors elsewhere in the body, "and finally, is it possible to attack cancer cells once they've launched metastases, or have they acquired a degree of resistance that will ultimately thwart all of our attempts to eliminate them?"
Via Susan Zager