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Boeing donates $150K to cancer research

MADISON – The Boeing Company and Boeing Employee Community Fund Board of Alabama are committing $150,000 to support American Cancer Society’s life-saving mission.

This unprecedented gift will help in funding two major projects.

A collaborative project for kidney cancer research will use $100,000 in partnership with American Cancer Society, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The remaining $50,000 will fund and implement a patient transportation program for Jackson, Limestone, Madison, Marshall and Morgan counties. Transportation is especially important in cancer care at higher rates for elderly citizens, rural residents and minorities.

“The Employee Community Fund Board has supported American Cancer Society for many years,” Jeanetta Wilson said. Wilson is a board member for Boeing Employee Community Fund. “When Boeing announced the ‘Boeing Against Cancer’ drive during February and encouraged employees to “Discover Your Power,’ we knew we had the power to do more.”

“We’re just so thrilled that Boeing shares our vision for a world without cancer,” ACS Senior Manager Karen Borden said.

On this particular project, kidney cancer research will be conducted in partnership with the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, directed by Dr. Guru Sonpavde with UAB and Dr. Richard M. Myers with HudsonAlpha. Lab workers now can measure genomic signatures and biomarkers from patient urine or blood samples, and doctors can monitor abnormalities in non-invasive procedures.

In the future, this data will assist with early, initial diagnosis, along with detection of recurrence of kidney cancer. In 2014, HudsonAlpha scientists identified a panel of biomarkers that are strong predictors of kidney cancer in patient tissues. In 2016, collaborators at HudsonAlpha and UAB also identified genomic changes associated with kidney cancer in both primary and metastatic tumors.

“HudsonAlpha, one of the top genetic sequencing centers in the nation, and UAB, a premier medical research institution, can together change the standard of care for cancer patients by diagnosing patients earlier and using the right treatment for the right person at the right time,” Myers said.

“Boeing’s support will be instrumental in making significant advances in cancer research by saving lives through earlier disease diagnosis and treatment options,” Myers said.

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