Growing a Cure

Five Ohio- and Indiana-based farm cooperatives have joined together to support food-based cancer research at the OSUCCC – James and at Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The five organizations of growers have formed Cooperatives for the Cure, an endowment fund at the OSUCCC – James, in collaboration with the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The cooperatives kicked off the endowment with a check for more than $103,000 presented to the OSUCCC – James in September during the 2012 Farm Science Review, Ohio State’s annual showcase of advances in agriculture.

At Ohio State, faculty members, graduate students and researchers in cancer biology work with researchers in plant genetics, horticulture, crop science, food technology and marketing to develop food products that are optimized for clinical trials of cancer prevention or an adjunct to therapy.

For example, the researchers are using scientific breeding methods to develop crop strains that are high in natural anticancer compounds, such as specific carotenoids in tomatoes, followed by the application of modern food technology to preserve the anticancer activity in novel and tasty foods.

At the OSUCCC – James, many patients and members of the community have opportunities to participate in several Crops to the Clinic™ clinical research studies of novel food products and nutritional strategies to prevent cancer or enhance cancer therapy as well as survivorship.

“We believe that this collective effort will produce discoveries that bring novel food products and nutritional strategies into the mainstream of the war on cancer and reduce one’s risk of specific cancers or perhaps improve the safety and efficacy of therapy,” says Steven Clinton, MD, PhD, director of the OSUCCC – James Prostate and Genitourinary Oncology Clinic and leader of the Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program. “Our ultimate goal for this collaboration is to contribute to a world free of cancer.”

For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, go to http://growingthecure.org/. All funds raised go toward food-based cancer-prevention research.

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