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Ludwig Cancer Research Donates $540 Million to Cancer Research

Update Date: Jan 06, 2014 09:25 AM EST
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Cancer detection and treatments could change drastically within the near future. The Ludwig Cancer Research based in New York and named after billionaire, Daniel K. Ludwig has donated a total of $540 million for cancer research. For Johns Hopkins, one of the schools to receive a portion of the donation, the $90 million will be used for studying the genetic mutations behind certain cancers. The funds will hopefully help researchers find a cure for cancer.

"Because of this money, we've reached a milestone in our understanding of cancer," said Dr. Kenneth Kinzler, who co-directs the Hopkins Ludwig Center with Dr. Bert Vogelstein reported by the Baltimore Sun. "Now the challenge is figuring out how to defeat it."

Five other institutions will also share in this generous donation. These establishments, which all received $20 million back in 2006 to start up research labs, are Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford University and the University of Chicago.

Ed McDermott, CEO of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research added, according to FOX News, "Never before has the cancer community had the knowledge and tools to probe so deeply into understanding cancer and discovering new ways to defeat it. More must be done in terms of funding to ensure continued progress in an era of shrinking global resources for research."

So far, the six centers have uncovered a substantial amount of information. Over the past years, researchers were able to map out genomic landscapes of certain cancers, such as breast, colon, brain, pancreas and ovarian. They have also created better drugs and immunotherapy treatment options.

Ludwig, who was from the United States, was a shipping tycoon and billionaire. During the 1960s, he was one of the richest men alive, controlling nearly 200 companies throughout the world. Despite his wealth, Ludwig avoided the press and kept a low profile, earning him the nickname of the invisible billionaire. The center was started in 1931 when his money was used to connect an international group of cancer researchers. Ludwig's estate has donated roughly $2.5 billion.

With more funds, the six Ludwig centers hope to uncover more information on the deadly disease.

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