Matching Fund Donors Sought for SENS Universal Cancer Therapy Crowdfunding

There is a month left to go in the SENS crowdfunding campaign that aims to accelerate development of an important component of a universal cancer therapy, a way to block the mechanisms of telomere lengthening that every type of cancer depends upon. The SENS Research Foundation and volunteers are looking for donors to put up matching funds of a few thousand dollars or more, in order to take that news and that inducement to a number of conferences and other events over the next few weeks. More than 150 people have donated to the campaign to date, and we'd like to triple that number in the next 30 days.

To start things off, I'll offer up $2,000 of my own funds: the next $2,000 in donations to this SENS cancer research initiative will be matched dollar for dollar. That is a start, and if you can join in to help out, please contact me to let me know. Can you help to make a difference here?

With last week's $10 million pledge in support of other portions of the SENS rejuvenation research portfolio, we can clearly see that grassroots fundraising works. It lights the way, and as we grow the community and show our determination, that success draws in larger donors. When this is amply demonstrated by the arrival of large amounts of new funding ... well, that is precisely the time to pile on and keep up the good work. All major medical research non-profits have several tiers of fundraising, from grassroots to high net work philanthropy, and all of these tiers are essential: they can't exist without one another. The SENS Research Foundation is transitioning to become a solid organization with a high end tier of fundraising to complement our efforts, and that couldn't exist without the support of the grassroots. It is a sign that we are winning.

We have been very focused on senescent cells, mitochondrial DNA damage, and glucosepane clearance these past few years, but don't forget that there are other parts of the SENS program that are just as important in the bigger picture of human rejuvenation. Building a universal, cost-effective therapy that works for all forms of cancer is one of those parts. The random mutations to nuclear DNA, different in every cell, that accumulate with age will be one of the hardest types of damage to fix, and mutation is the root cause of cancer. There will be a transitional era ahead in which people will live for decades longer in far better health than do today's elderly, thanks to first generation rejuvenation therapies, but they will still have high levels of nuclear DNA damage and thus high cancer risk. The rejuvenation toolkit needs to include a far better approach to cancer. You can see the SENS approach to speeding progress towards this goal in the recent interviews linked below, and at the /r/futurology AMA with Aubrey de Grey and Haroldo Silva that will be held tomorrow:

Siebel Scholar Haroldo Silva is Working Toward a Universal Cancer Therapy

Haroldo Silva is a research scientist at the SENS Research Foundation (SRF), a non-profit organization focused on transforming the way the world researches and treats age-related disease. Since 2013, Haroldo has led a project at SRF that aims to treat and prevent cancers that rely on a process known as Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT). The ALT mechanism is present in 10-15% of all cancers, including some of the most clinically challenging cancers to treat, such as pediatric and adult brain cancers, soft tissue sarcoma, osteosarcoma, and lung cancers.

Every time a healthy cell divides, the DNA at the ends of its chromosomes, called telomeres, gets shorter. When the telomeres shorten too much, the cell permanently stops dividing and either remains dormant or dies. Telomere shortening acts as a natural biological mechanism for limiting cellular life span, but virtually all types of cancer cells bypass this process, allowing them to replicate indefinitely until they impair healthy tissue and organ function. A "universal" cancer treatment absolutely needs to address the two ways by which cancer cells lengthen and maintain their telomeres: i.e., they either express an enzyme called telomerase or they switch on ALT. The ALT process enables cancer cells to continue to elongate their telomeres, but without telomerase. The exact mechanism by which this occurs is not well understood by scientists, but a reliable biomarker that clearly indicates when ALT is happening was discovered by Silva's collaborator, Dr. Jeremy Henson, back in 2009.

In the war against cancer, there are several anti-telomerase therapies in advanced stages of clinical development, but nothing currently exists that is capable of specifically targeting ALT. Silva's current research project "Control ALT Delete Cancer" aims to find drugs that specifically shut down the ALT pathway, therefore preventing cancer growth and paving the way toward the first ever ALT-specific anticancer therapeutics.

Methuselah Foundation Podcasts: Episode 007 - Control Alt Delete Cancer

Hello and welcome to Episode 7! On this episode, we'll talk with Dr. Haroldo Silva and David Halvorsen of the SENS Research Foundation. They've launched a new crowdfunding campaign designed to attack and stop cancer using a new approach. You'll hear what that approach is, why they think it has a good chance of success, and you can help in the fight.


Great stuff thanks Reason!

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 18th, 2016 6:19 PM

Excellent initiative; thanks for leading the way.

Posted by: LifespanKeith at July 18th, 2016 8:24 PM

I have already donated a pretty modest sum but I will be donating quite a bit more in around a week. If it hasn't already been used up, I will definitely be hitting your matching fund.

Posted by: Matthew Smith at July 18th, 2016 9:15 PM

Awesome Matthew; please clone yourself immediately ;)

Posted by: LifespanKeith at July 19th, 2016 12:52 AM

I have no money to donate, but I'll do something I have delayed too much by now: I'll start a blog in Spanish about SENS and cryonics.

Posted by: Antonio at July 19th, 2016 2:26 AM

@Antonio: I have a way that you can get some income. I posted it but it was removed as spam. If you file your mail I will send.

Posted by: ultra at July 19th, 2016 3:22 AM

@Reason: Do you have job? I dont understand how you can pay for cryonics and coming up with all that funds! Im 30 have no job are on social security but get some income investing in biotech. however i managed to fund $250 for MMTP and have donated same to this.

Posted by: ultra at July 19th, 2016 3:27 AM

@reason: i also see you have invested much in 2 biotech:
are you from a rich family. I'm from a family that have above average but we would not be able to come up with that without selling real estate.

Posted by: ultra at July 19th, 2016 4:13 AM

Guys even five bucks helps! Any amount no matter how big or small is still helping us to get the research started! I have doanted twice already and will do again if I can manage it nearer the end.

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 19th, 2016 5:10 AM

what i cant understand where is all the others 400 donors base from MMTP. i suggest that finds ways to advertise to a huger audience. it would have been easy for all of us if 200.000. donors donated 1$ each for this.

Posted by: ultra at July 19th, 2016 5:19 AM

@ultra: No problem, it hasn't been removed.

@Steve: Another problem is that I don't have a credit card. Anyway, I'll donate 10 bucks directly to SRF.

Posted by: Antonio at July 19th, 2016 7:22 AM

Just gave $10 more.

Posted by: TomFromNJ at July 19th, 2016 7:32 AM

@Antonio: I posted a text with a job for you that was about selling a health product. It was removed as spam. If you want this potential income post your mail.

Posted by: ultra at July 19th, 2016 8:00 AM

@Antonio accept Paypal, Bitcoin and credit card payments now so it is easy to donate to campaigns.

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 19th, 2016 8:02 AM

@Ultra the ILA of which MMTP is part of has urged all its members to donate a little each to the campaign. We want to see how many of these people are actually willing to step up and support research. I am also contacting MMTP donors and asking them to donate too and we are assisting SENS as much as possible.

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 19th, 2016 8:04 AM


Oh, didn't know. Then they need to change their FAQ.

"Who is able to fund my project?

Anyone in the world is eligible to fund your project; all they need is a valid credit or debit card."

There are also references to credit cards in other pages.

Posted by: Antonio at July 19th, 2016 8:25 AM

@ultra: Ah, ok. Not much interested in that.

Posted by: Antonio at July 19th, 2016 8:26 AM

Antonio I will get this changed ASAP. But yes they accept paypal, Stripe, Bitcoin and others I believe.

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 19th, 2016 8:53 AM

I doubt there are 200.000 donors. I thought so last years, so I believed my 50$ donation do SENS and 20$ to Longevity Cookbook were enough. There were much less donors on Indiego than I expected so probably only huge donations matter.

Posted by: Martin S. at July 19th, 2016 8:57 AM

@Antonio - why reinvent the wheel by starting a new blog? You could just translate the posts on this blog into proper Spanish (not wonky machine translated Spanish).

Posted by: Jim at July 19th, 2016 9:34 AM

Antonio if you wish to write Spanish content the MMTP would welcome a staff writer to join our Russian and Portugesse language writers. Drop me a line at if you are interested in working with us on the advocacy side.

Posted by: Steve Hill at July 19th, 2016 9:51 AM

@Jim: Well, of course, I will use much information from here, but I don't want to copy all the information. There are some opinions of Reason to wich I don't agree, like the recurring anti-FDA rants or the free-market praises. I also want to add more cryonics articles than he usually writes, and not include so many articles about longevity not related to SENS, like the ones about lifestyle, CR or the genetics of aging. And, finally, I probably couldn't translate as fast as he can write :P

But anyway the two blogs will have much in common.

There is much information about longevity in English, but it's very scarce in Spanish, and most of it is about slowing aging.

Posted by: Antonio at July 19th, 2016 10:39 AM

Good catch Antonio; will fix the FAQ. Donations are starting to come in too so that's great!

Also for those of you saying you'd like other ways to help you can join a room we have going in skype for advocates here
or message me on Facebook here: to be added to some rooms we have there as well. Basically we are coordinating the liking / resharing of posts for maximum social reach. It takes very little time and can have a powerful snowball effect when done right.

Posted by: LifespanKeith at July 19th, 2016 10:57 AM

@Martin S.: in all of the crowdfunding for this field I've watched over the past five years or so, and where I've seen the data, it has pretty consistently been a 50/50 split in total donated between a lot of small donors and a few large donors.

Posted by: Reason at July 19th, 2016 12:09 PM

I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but given that there are so many people all over the world (and huge sums of money) already focused on fighting cancer, I just think the other aspects of SENS should be prioritized. Especially since, IMO, what's needed to get more people on board with our community is demonstrations of greatly extended lifespans in mice (Even curing all cancer would only extend their lives modestly).

Don't get me wrong, I think the SENS approach to cancer is smart and worth investigating, especially since it's theoretically universal, but I imagine society will probably have a handle on cancer in a couple decades even without OncoSENS. I think donations would be better spent on the other SENS approaches. (GlycoSENS, MitoSENS, etc). I know all parts of SENS need to work concurrently to create large life extensions, but I still think those approaches I mentioned should get some priority.

Posted by: KC at July 21st, 2016 11:09 PM
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