San Antonio Spur Tim Duncan today kicked in a $247,000 donation to the unique San Antonio 1000 Cancer Genome Proect, being conducted by the START Center, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

  The project aims to collect tumor tissue from 1000 people in San Antonio with the ten most common types of cancer.  The cancerous and the non cancerous tissue will then have the genomes sequenced, and the information will be linked to the patient's clinical outcome.

  The START Center plans to make all this information open to researchers around the world on an 'open source' basis, so they can study the genetic material, the outcomes, and potentially come up with links which may lead to treatments, cures, and effective preventions for  cancers.

  "The idea that a group of cancer researchers were willing to set aside egos, to make the information freely available and work strictly for the greater good of curing cancer was exactly the type of cancer project I was willing to support," Duncan said.

  The unique project was the brainchild of START Clinical Director Dr. Anthony Tolcher.

  "Bright minds within and beyond our city borders can analyze the data and make the necessary breakthroughs in cancer medicine," Tolcher said.

  Tolcher says the project takes a 'human search engine' approach, by allowing researchers with different backgrounds and different experiences all around the world to look at the data in a free and open environment, with the idea that many heads are more likely to result in advances in cancer research.

  The START Center is one of the leading facilities for cancer drug development in the world, with involvement in the development of 18 FDA approved anti cancer drugs that are now in use by oncologists around the world.

  "I couldn't be more grateful," Tolcher said of Duncan's donation.  "This give will benefit the people of San Antonio and demonstrates the commitment that Mr. Duncan has to this city and the people of San Antonio."

IMAGE COURTESY: START CENTER