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Why Put Prevention First? 2017-09-05T01:19:05+00:00

Why Put Prevention First?

Over the past 30 years, advances in science and technologies have led to significant medical progress. Cancer research and resources, however, have been overwhelmingly focused on treating cancer after it occurs rather than preventing it.

Treatment after the fact can’t spare patients the traumatic experience of cancer and is often toxic and invasive. It also cannot impact the steady rise in new cancer patients or the related cost explosion in cancer care.

Prevention does spare our loved ones the trauma of cancer and of its treatment and offers what every patient dreams about: not getting cancer in the first place.

At HeritX, we believe cancer can and must be prevented. But we have to think differently.

The Problem

Most cancer funding goes towards treatment.

  • Academia and the pharmaceutical industry lack incentives to pursue prevention research.
  • Developing the next treatment is faster, easier and more profitable than working on the first prevention.

Our Solution

HeritX is focused on prevention.

  • Our leaders have a unique combination of professional skills and personal motivation to develop a preventive therapy as quickly as possible.
  • We design, support and fund projects that can lead to preventive therapies, starting with BRCA inherited cancer.

The Problem

Research and development (R&D) takes an average of 15 years to turn an idea into an available therapy.

  • Basic researchers and drug developers rarely work together in the early phases of research. This often leads to failure later on in the process.
  • The 15-year timeline does not include the time to find the right idea; this research alone can take decades.

Our Solution

HeritX created an accelerated R&D roadmap to achieve a prevention in less than 10 years.

  • We brought the right minds together from the start to collaborate on prevention-focused ideas and further accelerate our prevention roadmap.
  • We reach out to all fields to spark novel ideas and adopt existing solutions from other fields.

The Problem

Cancer prevention is seen as complex. Until recently, nobody knew where to start.

  • Without some kind of indicator (such as cholesterol is an indicator for heart attack or stroke), nobody knew who would ultimately develop cancer.
  • As a result, there was no way to know whom to study or where to intervene for prevention.

Our Solution

HeritX identified inherited BRCA cancer as an entry point for prevention.

  • Unlike other cancers, we already know the first step of how inherited BRCA cancer develops: the BRCA mutation.
  • We can identify BRCA mutation carriers, focus our research on BRCA biology, and create medical interventions that stop cancer before it starts.

The Problem

People think that prevention research is already happening.

  • This results in no sense of urgency.
  • In reality, less than 5 percent of research funding is dedicated to cancer prevention.
  • Current prevention methods mostly include lifestyle changes and early detection of cancer.

Our Solution

HeritX is engaging the scientific community and the public to make prevention a priority.

  • We organize scientific workshops to advance research. We hold focus group meetings for inform and engage the community and identify needs that researchers should address.
  • We encourage people to step up and demand prevention options, and not just settle for treatments.

The Problem

Research direction and priorities are rarely driven by the patient.

  • Funders have started to request patient input for reviewing research, but only at the back-end. This rarely changes the direction of the research, as it seems more of an afterthought than effective feedback.

Our Solution

We bring the patient voice to the forefront of our research efforts because we are a part of the BRCA community.

  • We have no interest greater than creating a prevention as soon as possible because our own families have inherited cancer.
  • Everything we do is driven by patient need. As part of this initiative, we have launched a Prevention Advocacy Network to incorporate patients even more into the research process.

Become part of the solution with HeritX today.

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