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Help Sequence the Genetic Code of Prostate Cancer

Item # 36819

Help sequence the genetic code of prostate cancer by funding groundbreaking research at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, of the University of Michigan, and his research team are unlocking the secrets of disease development hidden within the human genome. Among other findings, their research has resulted in identification of small molecules, sarcosine, that appear to indicate when aggressive prostate cancer is present.

They plan to develop a simple test to help doctors decide the best treatment methods for prostate cancer. Most importantly, the test would be far more predictive than the currently used test to detect prostate-specific antigen (PSA).

More than 180,000 men receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer each year in the United States, making it the second-leading form of cancer among men after skin cancer. But whether to get treated is often a tough decision. If the initial findings hold up to further study, however, a simple urine test for sarcosine could potentially be used to identify which cancers are more aggressive and need immediate treatment.

In addition, tests indicate that sarcosine could play a direct role in making prostate cancer more aggressive. If these findings are confirmed, the development of a drug that blocks its activity could potentially be used to improve treatment.

Support is needed for the very expensive supply needs of tumor specimens. Help Dr. Chinnaiyan tackle the next generation sequencing of tumors for gene fusions.

Contributions are matched by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, up to $5,000,000, so your contribution is doubled to make an even greater difference.

  • $25 funds the sequencing for 25 genes (1/200 of a specimen),
  • $50 funds 50 genes (1/100th of a specimen),
  • and $100 funds 100 genes (1/50th of a specimen).

Since contributions are matched, your $25 donation actually results in 50 genes being sequenced. It's vital work like this that will make headway in the fight against cancers of all sorts.


Dr. Chinnaiyan is the S.P. Hicks Endowed Professor of Pathology and Director of Cancer Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. He was a recipient of a 2005 and a 2006 Prostate Cancer Foundation Competitive Award. This unique program supports innovative prostate cancer research projects directed by leading scientists around the world and enables them to forge ahead with their crucial work.

Dr. Chinnaiyan has won the 2008 American Association for Cancer Research Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research.

The U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center provides its patients diagnostic, treatment and support services in a collaborative environment, focused on excellence in patient care. Drawing on the strengths of the University of Michigan faculty, the Cancer Center has assembled a team of specialists who are leaders in their fields to unravel the threat of cancer and to provide care and comfort to those it afflicts.


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100% of your donation will go to the program described above as a grant through GreaterGood.org. GreaterGood stores do not receive any profit from donations through this Gift That Gives More™; we bring it to you in the spirit of the greater good. We even pay the credit card transaction fee, so every cent of your donation goes to charity.

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