2015 Research Award – PCREF
Prostate Cancer Research and Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 founded to direct money to research into cancer treatments. Dr Isreal Barken heads up the foundation and is also one of the researchers. On August 13, 2015 Co-Founder Justin Schorr and family visited Dr Barken in San Diego at a cancer research laboratory called AntiCancer. Seems fitting, right?
The research going on there is nothing short of amazing. We were treated like royal guests and got a full tour of the facility from where they hang their many patents on the wall all the way back to the laser powered microscopes used to look at hair cells in mice. More on that in a minute.
First, the basics of the research we have chosen to have Dr Barken take on. We at KTKC are focused on early recognition, prevention and awareness. In the event those methods are not successful, cancer treatment may be necessary and some treatments currently being used are remarkably aggressive causing as much, if not more, damage than the cancer. Targeted freezing of cancer cells, combined with immunology treatments, trigger the body to attack the cancer itself. This means less invasive, less dosing and less impact on a patient while maximizing the destruction of cancer cells.
To study this they need mice. A lot of mice. Many of hem hairless or “nude.” These mice are then genetically modified to react differently under UV light. Mice that are given coral DNA turn red, those given jellyfish DNA turn bright yellow. There are also blue mice but we didn’t meet any of them. Under UV light you can see in the images the difference of the mice. Because this coloring is in their DNA and in every cell researchers can now introduce cancer cells of a different animal (color) and see the interaction at the cellular level, knowing EXACTLY what is happening.
This will allow Dr Barken and his team to more accurately study the response of their treatments.
While on our tour Dr Hoffman asked researchers to show us what they were working on. One of the researchers brought over a mouse she had injected with the hair cells of a yellow mouse. When the lights were on we saw no difference, but when she turned on the laser microscope we were able to see the fluorescent yellow hair cells against the black background of the mouse without genetic changes. She will later use the cells to study stem cell modification.
The tour was fantastic and Dr Barken’s philosophy regarding cancer treatments fits very well with our own. We will be receiving regular updates from Dr Barken and the team as they move forward and he will wear this KTKC shirt when visiting the lab in China where much of our research will take place.
Thank you to all our supporters for making this research possible. With your dedicated support we are able to make a measurable impact on prostate cancer patients in the future.