WASHINGTON – The Kidney Cancer Research Alliance (KCCure) announced today that $100,000 has been awarded to Dr. Qing Zhang and Dr. Xianming Tan at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for their kidney cancer research proposal: TBK1 Serves as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Kidney Cancer with VHL Loss.
“We are honored to receive this award from KCCure,” said Dr. Zhang. “This funding will provide vital resources for us to examine the efficacy of targeting TBK1 in kidney cancer either alone or in combination with currently FDA approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Our research will provide insight on validating TBK1 as novel therapeutic agent to benefit kidney cancer patients.”
“Dr. Zhang’s research is highly innovative and could pave the path for a new class of drugs in the treatment of metastatic kidney cancer,” said Dr. Hans Hammers, cofounder of KCCure and leader of the KCCure Scientific Advisory Board. “We received many worthy applications, but this project has the greatest potential to impact the field.”
“Increasing funding for research in kidney cancer is crucial for developing new therapies and ultimately to finding a cure for this disease. Research like Dr. Zhang’s work is bringing hope to patients and families struggling with kidney cancer diagnoses today.” said Dena Battle, President of KCCure. “We’re grateful to the donors who have generously supported our efforts and made this grant award possible.”
Kidney Cancer is the deadliest of all urological malignancies. It’s estimated that more than 60,000 people will be diagnosed with kidney cancer in the United States this year and more than 14,000 people will die from the disease. For reasons that we don’t know, incidence of kidney cancer has been increasing since the 1990s.
KCCure is a grassroots organization of patients, caregivers, and doctors committed to advancing research in the field of kidney cancer by increasing private funding for basic research, promoting collaboration among stakeholders, and magnifying the voice of patients and caregivers.
The organization was launched in 2016 by Dena Battle, who lost her husband to kidney cancer and Dr. Hans Hammers, the medical oncologist who treated him. In less than three years, KCCure has established the first and only private peer reviewed research grant program for kidney cancer. Last year, KCCure awarded $100,000 to Dr. Wayne Marasco for his work in CAR T-Cell therapy.
Dena Battle, is the President for KCCure. She began her career in Washington, DC, as a congressional aide, and went on to work as a lobbyist for more than 10 years, working primarily on tax and healthcare policy. After losing her husband to kidney cancer, she remained active in the patient community. In addition to leading KCCure, she serves on National Cancer Institute’s Genitourinary Steering Committee, and serves on the Advisory Board for the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.
Hans Hammers, M.D., Ph.D., is the Vice President of KCCure and is a nationally and internationally renowned physician and researcher in the field of kidney cancer. He serves as the Co-Leader of Clinical Research and Immunotherapy of the Kidney Cancer Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Hammers earned degrees from the University of Lubeck in Germany. He completed his residency training in the Johns Hopkins medical system and completed his fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital.