August 22, 2013


Joint Research Grant With National Foundation for Cancer Research Looks to Malaria Drugs to Treat Leukemia 


New York—The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF) and National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) today announced a joint research grant to repurpose a family of malaria drugs to treat leukemia.

The SWCRF/NFCR funding will make possible collaborative research by Curt Civin, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Yongkui Jing, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology at Mount Sinai Medical Center.  The award is for $100,000 annually.

“This joint funding will help propel us onward in our research, which will one day bring cures to many leukemia patients,” said Dr. Jing. “Thanks to NFCR and SWCRF, we are one step closer to making a difference in these patients’ lives.”

“We are pleased to collaborate with NFCR,” said Samuel Waxman, M.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SWCRF. “NFCR and SWCRF both support leading scientists around the world. This collaborative research promises to accelerate the development of a new approach to treating leukemia patients.”

Collaborating for a Cure in Leukemia

Working together, Drs. Civin and Jing will focus on a promising new set of drugs that target leukemia. The Artemisinin anti-malaria drug family, derived from traditional Chinese herbal medicine, has been found to be effective against human leukemias. Both researchers bring experimental evidence that artemisinins cause leukemic cell death. The laboratories of Dr. Civin and Jing will work together to select the optimal artemisinin for clinical trials and to define the mechanisms by which artemisinins kill leukemic cells.

The SWCRF/NFCR joint research funding promises to accelerate the development of artemisinins as a new targeted anti-leukemia drug class—one that has an established safety record in children and adults with malaria.  Because of its proven safety, artemisinin could move quickly as a new therapy for leukemia.


About the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR)
The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) is dedicated to supporting innovative basic science cancer research.  Since 1973 NFCR has spent over $309 million funding “high risk/high reward” breakthrough cancer research at universities and research hospitals worldwide. 

With grassroots support of millions of Americans, NFCR has fostered global collaboration that is having a catalytic effect and accelerating pace of cancer research worldwide. NFCR scientists are discovering cancer’s molecular mysteries and translating these discoveries into new therapies that hold the hope for curing cancer. NFCR is about Research for a Cure—cures for all types of cancer. 

About the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF)
The SWCRF is an international organization dedicated to curing and preventing cancer. The Foundation is a pioneer in cancer research, focusing on uncovering the causes of cancer and reprogramming cancer cells. We dedicate ourselves to delivering tailored, minimally toxic treatments to patients. Our mission is to eradicate cancer by bridging the gap between lab science and the patient. Through our collaborative group of world-class scientists, the Institute Without Walls, investigators share information and tools to speed the pace of cancer research. Since its inception in 1976, the SWCRF has awarded more than $85 million to support the work of more than 200 researchers across the globe.