Cancer is caused by a malfunction in the genes that regulate cell growth. According to the American Cancer Society, about 5-10% of all cancers are hereditary-meaning that an inherited genetic alteration predisposes a person to a high risk of certain cancers. The remainder of cancers are not hereditary, but result from damage to genes that occur throughout a person's lifetime, either because of environmental factors such as tobacco, chemicals, and sunlight, or through internal factors like hormones or cellular processes.
TGen focuses on many aspects of cancer research, including identifying genes associated with cancer and developing earlier diagnoses and smarter treatments. TGen has research programs for several types of cancer, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, pancreatic cancer, adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC), brain cancer, colorectal cancer, and hematological malignancies.
Researchers at TGen are focused on identifying a 'target' or a particular gene sequence that might influence the course of a disease such as cancer. TGen investigators use sophisticated technologies such as microarray (or DNA) chips to find a tumor's molecular profile. By sifting through the DNA of individuals with cancer and comparing it to the DNA of healthy individuals, TGen researchers are able to hunt for genes that may play a role in causing cancer or increasing cancer risk, and use that information to develop superior diagnostic and prognostics tools, as well as to develop new drug treatments.
TGen's Cancer Drug Discovery Laboratory, located at the Mayo Clinic Collaborative Research Building in Scottsdale, is TGen's drug discovery and development arm. The combination of world-class researchers (from both TGen and the Mayo Clinic) and the latest technologies creates a highly collaborative multidisciplinary research environment. This ensures that innovative preclinical research products will be moved from the lab to the patient as quickly as possible. This will hopefully ultimately improve and extend the lives of patients living with cancer.
There are many ways to support TGen's cancer programs through the TGen Foundation. Your donation in support of a specific cancer that has impacted your life are important to furthering the research of TGen scientists. All gifts at every level make a difference!
Volunteer! Become a TGen Ambassador and help raise funds in your community for cancer research. You can also become a member of Bio Leadership and join a network of dedicated individuals and corporations who come together to gain a greater understanding of TGen's research, drug discovery and involvement in patient care.
The Wellness Community
Cancer support, education and hope
To discuss ways to become involved and support cancer research at TGen, contact the TGen Foundation at Foundation@tgen.org, or call 602.343.8411.