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Dr. David Williams very much hopes the White House’s $755 million “cancer moonshot” finds cures, that Sean Parker’s $250 million “Dream Team” brings effective immune-system treatments to every kind of tumor, and that the $370 million raised by Hollywood-based Stand Up to Cancer fuels discoveries that make malignancies as treatable as headaches.
All Williams wants is $5 million — a rounding error to the billionaires making nine-figure donations to cancer research — to run a clinical trial that has a good chance of curing sickle cell disease.
There is no moonshot for sickle cell. There are no “ice bucket challenges.” When fundraisers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where Williams is president of the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, ask donors to support sickle cell research, benefactors say they prefer to fund efforts that promise to help the adorable little kids stricken with cancer.
“Sickle cell patients have never been at the front of the line,” said Dr. David Nathan, 87, a past president of Dana-Farber who helped discover the only drug that partly treats it. “It strikes Italians, Greeks, blacks. … This work, especially clinical trials, is hugely expensive, and the National Institutes of Health and private foundations haven’t prioritized it.”
Read full, original post: We know what causes sickle cell disease. Where’s the cure?