President’s Message


“Getting to Know Cancer” ( is an all-volunteer, public-interest, non-profit non-governmental organization that is focused on several of the most challenging problems in cancer research.  Most recently we initiated and led the Halifax Project, an ambitious undertaking that involved 350 scientists and physicians from 31 countries around the globe.  In that effort a taskforce comprised of 12 teams of researchers worked for three years (2012-2015) on the conceptual framework for a very unique and promising approach to prevent high-risk cancers, treat refractory cancers and prevent disease relapse.

Essentially the taskforce leveraged our understanding of the molecular biology of the hallmarks of cancer by combining the many targets that are emerging in precision medicine with the synergies predicted by network pharmacology.  Their goal was to identify as many high-priority, synergistic molecular targets as possible along with complementary, low-toxicity protocols that could be aimed at a “broad-spectrum” of important molecular targets.  This wasn’t intended to replace existing cancer therapies, but rather to serve as a design approach for a viable complement to traditional modes of prevention and treatment.  That groundbreaking work was published in special issue of Elsevier’s Seminars in Cancer Biology in December, 2015 along with a landmark capstone paper that showed that the approach should be feasible from a safety standpoint and relatively inexpensive to implement.


Image courtesy of
the National Cancer Institute

Given the individualized nature of many cancers, targeted protocols will need to be tailored to the cancer type and precisely formulated to match individual genetics. While targeted therapy and personalized approaches to cancer are not new, the idea of reaching a broad-spectrum of targets is not commonly pursued due to the inherent toxicity that results with many approved cancer drugs.

The Halifax Project taskforce looked for evidence in the literature to support low-cost, non-toxic approaches that could be used in combination with little risk.   The challenge now is to rigorously assess and report on the merits of this approach. Getting to Know Cancer plans to lead the “Broadspec” Clinical Trials, an incremental series of case-studies that will grow in scale if the approach demonstrates positive results.

Initially these trials will involve a prophylactic study for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients who are at high risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia (AML) as well as therapeutic trials for advanced-stage ovarian cancer patients, pancreatic cancer patients, and glioblastoma multiforme patients.  So we are developing a network of licensed physicians with clinical experience treating patients diagnosed with cancer (including oncologists and functional integrative medicine physicians) to treat, support and advise cancer patients who take part in this research.

At this stage, we are just organizing the project so there are no active trials for patients at any locations.  However, if you are a physician who is potentially interested in being involved in this project, please let know about your practice by submitting an expression of interest here. I do hope that you will choose to help us with this very important work.


Leroy Lowe, PhD
President, Getting to Know Cancer
902-893-5362 tel.