In all the years we’ve done pro bono work at StoneArch, it is rare to see the enthusiasm generated by working with Dr. Daniel Saltzman. Dr. Saltzman is chief of Pediatric Surgery at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s hospital. He performs over 500 surgeries each year. As if that’s not enough to keep him busy, he runs a research lab at the U of M that is developing an incredible treatment for cancer.
When we first met Dr. Saltzman he gave us a tour of the state-of-the-art Amplatz Children’s Hospital. He starts his tours there because he says that’s what his research is all about – helping people. We then crossed the river and went to his lab in a windowless basement at the U of M. Dr. Saltzman explained his innovative approach to cancer treatment. He uses the salmonella bacteria that is normally harmful to humans and modifies it so it can no longer hurt anyone.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of salmonella but you may not know that it’s super attracted to tumors. Dr. Saltzman and his colleagues attach powerful immune modulating proteins to the salmonella. The salmonella then stealthily carries the proteins directly to the cancer cells to destroy them. Dr. Saltzman told me that the therapy is not chemo-based. We asked, “Do you mean it has minimal side effects?” He replied “No,” waited a beat, and said, “it has no side effects.” The therapy is completely nontoxic. Having known people who’ve gone through the ravages of chemotherapy, we were hooked and knew we had to be a part of bringing this therapy forward.
Dr. Saltzman and his fellow researchers told us of their encouraging research results and that they are only a few years away from human trials. They also told us about Buddy. Buddy is a golden retriever who was being treated for advanced bone cancer at the U of M veterinary clinic. There was little hope he would survive with the standard treatment. Buddy received Dr. Saltzman’s therapy and a year and a half later is doing fine and is cancer-free.
To continue this promising research and get to human trials requires bridge funding. Federal funds for research have greatly decreased and researchers are often left to raise their own money to keep the work going. That’s where StoneArch comes in. Everyone at StoneArch who has met Dr. Saltzman and learned of his research is committed to helping him tell his story to raise crucial funds. We’re also intrigued by the idea of people contributing directly to research. Every dollar raised goes directly into the research and pays for no administrative costs.
Enter “Project Stealth: Launching a Sneak Attack on Cancer.” Working with Dr. Saltzman we have developed the Project Stealth brand, created a website, developed a social media campaign and produced a video to help tell the story. You can learn more about this innovative therapy at projectstealth.org