Cancer Awareness

It Takes a Team

Blog by Michael Walker

Michael is an intern in The V Foundation Communications Department.

There is strength in numbers. The more people working together for a cause, the better. When you’re trying to make a real difference in this world, numbers give you an advantage. Currently, we’re trying to stop cancer. Facing this disease is a little easier when you have the support of your friends and family. But what about when you have the support of your medical team? Support from your hospital? And support from cancer researchers nationwide?

Dr. Kenneth Westover of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas is one of those researchers. He is using his 2014 V Scholar Grant to study the genetic mutation in the KRAS gene. His Westover lab and collaborators have tested and identified new strategies to make cell-permeable compounds that inactivate KRAS. He uses targeted therapy, a form of cancer treatment intended to identify and attack specific cancer cells. Westover’s progress is critical to beating the disease, and with support, he can continue to make strides in his research. Through his work, Westover is using his best effort to support cancer patients.

There isn’t a better time to share Westover’s story than now. November is Lung Cancer Awareness month, and he is doing all he can to combat this life-threatening disease.  Lung cancer is expected to claim the lives of over 150,000 people this year, making it the most deadly form of cancer in the world. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer patients remains as low as 17%, which means more research is vital. Westover wants to increase this survival rate, and his research should provide doctors with new treatment options to do so.

Westover’s work is inspiring. He knows there are thousands of people throughout the country that need him, but he cannot do it alone. As a result, The V Foundation supports hundreds of other doctors each year. There is strength in numbers, and we will continue to grow our team until we make a real difference and end cancer.