As a group, rare cancers are the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. RCRF’s work intends directly to advance efforts to develop new and better therapies to treat rare cancer patients. In the United States in 2014, nearly 400,000 rare cancer patients were diagnosed and 250,000 patients passed away, more than 7x the number of Americans who die in car accidents each year and a mortality rate radically higher than breast, prostate, or other common cancers. On a worldwide basis, these tragic numbers are in the millions. If RCRF’s work resulted in better outcomes for even 1% of rare cancer patients, this would represent tens of thousands of patients per year living either longer lives, achieving higher quality of life, or both.
RCRF has identified a growing roster of over 200 foundations and medical research organizations that are strong candidates for RCRF’s solutions. Because rare cancers have historically been neglected by the private sector, research has been dominated by non-profits. We offer our partner foundations the scale and sophistication to effectively advance a research agenda. By aggregating best-in-class models from both inside and outside the cancer research community (our team and advisors range from the former Provost of MD Anderson to leading tech entrepreneurs), RCRF has consistently built solutions that achieve both higher quality and lower cost than other solutions. RCRF is prepared to empower these partner foundations to build out their research models.
RCRF is working to ensure that each rare cancer has its own research building blocks. Managing research is expensive and time consuming. But many of those costs are fixed and can be spread across multiple cancers. RCRF leverages economies of scale to enable existing foundations to share solutions and maintain the fundamental research building blocks needed for every rare cancer.
RCRF will administer the research infrastructure and enable researchers to focus on novel, incremental innovation. We will offer solutions for patient registries, tissue samples, cell lines, animal models, and genome sequencing. All made globally accessible to researchers through a single, virtual, integrated platform.
The results will revolutionize the rare cancer research enterprise and will radically accelerate the time-to-market for new, life-saving therapies. At the same time, researchers can reallocate time, money, and attention to novel drug development efforts and bringing new therapies to market. Together we can bring rare cancer research to enter the 21st century.