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Silicon Valley Billionaire Makes $250 Million Donation to Fund Cancer Institute

Mesothelioma TreatmentMesothelioma researchers around the world are celebrating the announcement that Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker is contributing $250 million to create a new immunotherapy research institute. The goal of the new facility will be to encourage collaboration and facilitate progress.

Parker made his fortune as the co-founder of music-sharing website Napster. He was also Facebook’s first president. In speaking to Reuters news agency, he said, “Any breakthrough made at one center is immediately available to another center without any kind of IP (intellectual property) entanglements or bureaucracy.”

The new facility will be named the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and it will be a collaborative effort that works with six other notable cancer centers: Stanford Medicine; the University of California, San Francisco; New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; the University of California, Los Angeles; University of Texas MD Anderson at Texas; and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.  Forty laboratories will also share in the research.

According to Parker, the focus on collaboration is key, as it represents a departure from the current system, which experts believe prohibits aggressive pursuits.  Dr. Jedd Wolchok, chief of the melanoma and immunotherapeutics department at Memorial Sloan Kettering explains that because researchers are currently put in a position where they have to spend up to 30% of their time securing grants, they lose valuable research time. He calls the approach being taken by Parker “paradigm shifting,” and says that it will mean that scientists will be able to share information and technology in a way that will advance the discovery of more effective treatment.

Parker says that this is his goal. “Very little progress has been made over the last several decades. Average life expectancy has only increased three to six months with some of these drugs that cost billions to develop.”

Finding better ways to approach research is one of the best ways to find a cure for mesothelioma, a rare and always fatal form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Current treatments are expensive and offer little hope. For those who are currently facing a mesothelioma diagnosis, the attorneys at Danziger & De Llano are able to provide the hope of a more secure financial future for their loved ones by pursuing compensation for the damage that they have suffered. Call us today to see how we can help.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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