Laura Kleiman is a relentless and dedicated warrior in the fight to expand treatment options for cancer patients. As the Founder and Executive Director of Cures Within Reach for Cancer, Laura brings her skills as a patient advocate and cancer researcher. Sadly, Laura lost her mom to multiple myeloma last year. She now wants to ensure that the millions of people battling cancer have access to all promising treatment options, regardless of their profitability.
Laura has devoted her professional life to bringing together scientists and physicians to solve challenging problems. She is currently Scientific Research Director of the cBio Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Prior to joining Dana-Farber, she worked at the non-profit GlobalCures. Laura earned a PhD in computational and systems biology from MIT and was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Laura is the proud mom of a 4-year-old daughter and aunt of two 1-year-old nephews, who fuel her determination to create a healthier world.
Cures Within Reach for Cancer uses drugs already in our medicine cabinet to more effectively treat cancer. We provide objective knowledge about affordable drugs with a potential for treating cancer, and seek rapid and innovative approaches to their clinical testing, to turn them into an everyday clinical reality.
Our immediate goal, which will be completed within a year, is to collect and organize the clinical evidence supporting the cancer use of hundreds of promising, proven safe, and inexpensive therapies previously FDA approved for non-cancer indications; and to make this information available to physicians and the public. Our aim is to select a few medicines with the best chance of extending and improving the lives of cancer patients and raise the funds required to test them in a large enough number of patients. When medicines prove effective, we will raise awareness among the clinical care community to encourage their use.
Many promising cancer treatments are ignored simply because their perceived profit potential does not justify their development costs. For example, there is evidence that a safe and inexpensive anti-inflammatory drug, commonly used to treat pain, could help breast cancer patients live longer. Cures Within Reach for Cancer creates a development path for these types of treatments so patients around the world can access them as soon as possible.
Cures Within Reach for Cancer enables patients and doctors to make better treatment decisions and to more effectively manage or even cure more cancers. For example, we designed a clinical trial to test a drug used along with lung cancer surgery, which is ready to start enrolling patients, pending funding. By preventing cancers from returning after surgery, which often leads to death, this simple and inexpensive treatment could save 8,000 lives each year in the U.S. alone.
In addition to saving lives, this treatment could save almost $1 billion in U.S. healthcare costs annually. We are educating governments, investors, philanthropists, and healthcare payers about the importance of identifying, funding, and advocating for these neglected therapies. In parallel, we are developing an entirely new business approach for developing such therapies through global partnerships.
One sustainable funding model that we are exploring is the use of social impact bonds, which leverage healthcare savings resulting from effective treatments to finance clinical testing. The success of our initiatives will be a model for the treatment of other rare to common diseases.