LAUNCHING A
SNEAK ATTACK ON CANCER

PLAY ME
THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY CANCER RESEARCH IN THE LAST 40 YEARS

Research being conducted by Dr. Daniel A. Saltzman at the University of Minnesota promises to completely transform how we fight cancer. Project Stealth uses altered salmonella to deliver a sneak attack of anti-cancer drugs directly into tumor cells – without causing any of the side effects traditionally associated with cancer treatments.

NEWS/
EVENTS
  • We did it!

    With your help, Project Stealth has reached its fundraising goal—ahead of schedule and under budget. Read Dr. Saltzman’s Letter: Dear […]

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    We did it!

    With your help, Project Stealth has reached its fundraising goal—ahead of schedule and under budget.

    Read Dr. Saltzman’s Letter:

    Dear Friends and Supporters,

    In what might be a first in fundraising history, I am not asking you for anymore donations. With your support, Project Stealth achieved its goal—ahead of schedule and under budget. Which means no more emotional appeals with a link to the “donate” page.

    From dream to reality

    We launched Project Stealth in October 2013 with a two-year goal of raising $500,000—critical seed money that would allow us to pursue our dream of developing a novel cancer therapy with no toxic side effects. Our main goal was to identify a new generation of Salmonella based cancer therapy that we can now further develop with the hopes of using it in a clinical trial for cancer. I’m thrilled to report that we came in under budget and ahead of schedule to accomplish this goal. After raising nearly $460,000, Project Stealth produced sufficient compelling preliminary data to carry our concept forward. In addition, with this data, we are now eligible to compete for federal government cancer research grants. Thanks to generous donors like you, we’re close to turning this dream into a reality.

    Recent updates

    Buddy, the golden retriever you may remember from the Project Stealth video, lived a happy, healthy and cancer-free life for another four years following treatment. At the age of 10, he developed a new cancer (unrelated and not due to the initial treated cancer) in one of his three remaining legs. This new cancer could have been treated, but it would have meant a second amputation. Although Buddy is no longer with us, his story bodes well for the future of cancer treatment. We are so thankful to Buddy’s owners for taking that brave step to enroll Buddy in this trial.

    What we’ve accomplished

    Our unique cancer-fighting system consists of genetically altered Salmonella with a singular ability to invade solid cancers. Using the Salmonella as a “smart-bomb,” we deliver immune modulators directly to a cancer cell, and to the body as a whole, to create a large number of cancer-killing immune cells.

    During the past 22 months, we successfully identified four different immune-modulating proteins, a construct we found to be the most effective at killing cancer. Two are “boosters” that stimulate the immune system to make cancer-killing immune cells, and two are “immune checkpoint inhibitors” that disable the cancer’s ability to suppress the immune system.

    The graph below shows just how effective this combination therapy is at inhibiting cancer growth in mice.

    graph

    Please draw your attention to two of the groups of mice with breast cancer tumors represented on this graph. The blue line represents untreated mice whose cancers grew 25 times in size over 28 days. The green line represents mice treated with a single dose of our “cocktail” of Salmonella carrying four different immune modulators. In the treated mice there was little appreciable growth of the cancer for 28 days.

    Where we’re going

    Among the many different breast cancer models in mice, the Balb-Neu-T is the one that most closely resembles the model found in humans, making it a natural choice for our research and treatment strategy. By waiting to treat these mice until we can literally feel the tumor, we’re “stacking the deck” against us in order to really put our cancer-fighting system to the test. Related research is focusing on the ideal dosing intervals and amounts, as well as potential combinations with other forms of therapy to increase efficacy with few or no side effects. In addition, we are going to test this treatment strategy in mouse models of pancreas and prostate cancer in the near future.

    We still have plenty of work to do, of course, but your enthusiasm and support for Project Stealth continues to inspire us every day. I don’t need to ask for money, but I do plan to send out periodic updates on our research and funding status. And you can always find us on Facebook.

    Sincerely,
    Daniel Saltzman, MD, PhD

    Click here to download letter

  • We’ve already raised $417,000!

    Project Stealth has raised over $417,000 in a year and a half. Thank you to all of our donors for […]

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    We’ve already raised $417,000!

    Project Stealth has raised over $417,000 in a year and a half. Thank you to all of our donors for giving back to this important cancer research. We had a great influx of donations on Give to the Max Day and we were still receiving checks days after the event. Our goal is to reach $500,000 by October 2015 and with your help, we know we can succeed. Once again, thank you so much for giving us the funds to research each and every day.

  • Research Update from Dr. S!

    PROJECT STEALTH UPDATE December 15, 2014 Overall, in the last 6 months, our research lab has submitted 2 manuscripts and […]

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    Research Update from Dr. S!

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    PROJECT STEALTH UPDATE

    December 15, 2014

    Overall, in the last 6 months, our research lab has submitted 2 manuscripts and all have been accepted for publication.  They are as follows:

    1.    Michael J. Mertensotto, Jeremy J. Drees, Lance B. Augustin, Janet L. Schottel, Daniel A. Saltzman:   Increased Expression of Periplasmic Chaperones in Salmonella Typhimurium Reduces Its Viability In Vivo Current Microbiology, Nov, 2014.

    2.    Drees J, Mertensotto M, Liu G, Panyam, J, Augustin L, Schottel J, and Saltzman D: Attenuated Salmonella enterica Typhimurium   Reduces Tumor Burden in an Autochthonous Breast Cancer Model.  Anticancer Research, In Press, 2015

    As you recall, our research centers on the fact that Salmonella finds, attaches itself, and colonizes solid cancers and we then use this unique property to deliver a host of immune modulating proteins to alter the tumor micro-environment to facilitate an immune mediated tumor destruction.   Our work is now focused on 2 particular cancer models.  First we are studying our treatment strategy in a mouse model of triple negative breast cancer and second in mice who posses a breast cancer gene in that these animals spontaneously develop breast cancer.  It is now the opinion of many cancer researchers that the ideal and most “true to life” way to study potential cancer treatments are in animal models where the animal will spontaneously develop a cancer and not in a model where a researcher gives an animal a cancer and then treats this cancer 2 weeks later.

    Over the last 6 months, we have concentrated our efforts in finding the most ideal strain of Salmonella that colonizes cancers the best.  Not all strains are equal and we have discovered that strain SL3261 of Salmonella is the best at tumor invasion and colonization.

    Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 3.21.57 PM

    In the above figure, one can notice a nearly 4 fold better in tumor colonization after a single dose of Salmonella in mice with breast cancer.  Subsequent efforts in the laboratory were then centered on genetically engineering this SL3261 strain of Salmonella to carry the various immune modulating proteins that our previously studied strains carried.  Current laboratory efforts are now using this optimum tumor colonizing strain of Salmonella in the breast cancer models in mice.  The following graph illustrates 3 cohorts of mice; control animals, mice given salmonella without any immune altering proteins and mice given salmonella with a combination of 4 immune modulating proteins.  This preliminary study illustrates that administration of the salmonella with the immune modulating proteins not only prevents tumor growth but actual regression.

    Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 3.25.24 PM

    Currently, our efforts are now concentrated on optimizing the timing of the dosing and strategies to further increase tumor colonization.  One of the strategies we are using to enhance tumor invasion and colonization is a medication called a vascular disrupting agent or VDA.  Experiments conducted in our laboratory demonstrated a nearly 1000 time better tumor invasion by Salmonella when these VDA’s are used.

    Again, thank you very much for your generous support of our research lab at the University of Minnesota.

     

    Sincerely,

    Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 3.38.55 PM

     

     

     

    Daniel Saltzman, M.D., PhD.

    Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics

    Chief, Division of Pediatric Surgery

    Surgeon-in-Chief, University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital

     

  • Give to the Max Day!

      Give to the Max Day is on Thursday, Nov. 13. Please join us in donating to Project Stealth! You […]

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    Give to the Max Day!

    GTMD - Save The Date

     

    Give to the Max Day is on Thursday, Nov. 13. Please join us in donating to Project Stealth!

    You can donate in two ways:

    1. Through the Give to the Max website: GTMD Website

    2. Through the University of Minnesota Foundation website: UMNF Crowdfund Website

    Thank you, in advance, for your support!

     

  • Meet the Research Team!

    Emily Balczewski Emily is a junior at Carleton College studying computer science and pre-medicine. Last year, Emily organized a TEDx […]

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    Meet the Research Team!

    Emily Balczewski

    emily-facebook

    Emily is a junior at Carleton College studying computer science and pre-medicine. Last year, Emily organized a TEDx conference for Carleton College and sought inspirational professionals to speak about their expertise. One of the speakers at the TEDx conference was Dr. Daniel Saltzman. After hearing Dr. Saltzman share the Project Stealth story, Emily immediately knew she wanted to work in his research lab. After interviewing with Dan and shadowing him at the lab, Emily was more than excited. Emily heads off to Budapest, Hungary this Fall to study abroad.

    Mike Mertensotto

    mike-facebook

    Mike graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2009 with a degree in microbiology. During his undergraduate research project, Mike spent his time in the Saltzman research lab. After gaining a sincere passion for the research, Mike decided to prolong his dedication to Project Stealth. Upon graduation, Mike became a full-time scientist for Project Stealth cancer research. In his spare time, Mike enjoys hanging out with his friends. Mike’s next step is to take the MCAT and hopes to attend medical school.

    Joe Lane

    joe-facebook

    Joe is a sophomore at the University of Iowa and writes for The Daily Iowa newspaper. Aside from being a columnist, Joe conducted medical research while at the University of Iowa. As summer approached, Joe wanted to continue researching and heard about Project Stealth through a family connection. Joe’s mom had attended the Project Stealth launch and inspired Joe to get involved. Joe spent many of his summer days in the Saltzman research lab and when he returns to the University of Iowa, he will study pre-medicine.

    Abdi Adan 

    abdi-facebook

    After meeting Dr. Saltzman at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, 14-year-old Abdi contacted him and simply asked, “How do I become a pediatric surgeon?” Dr. Saltzman was moved by Abdi’s diligence and passion. Dr. Saltzman remarked that Abdi asked some of the best questions he had ever heard. Abdi, a local high school student, now assists in the Saltzman lab with his fellow researchers. Abdi’s dream is to attend the University of Minnesota and to become a pediatric surgeon just like Dr. Saltzman.

  • Update on Research from Dr. Saltzman – We’re Getting Closer!

    Here is an update on our research from Dr. Saltzman himself! We’ve already raised over $200,000! We’re so close! Read […]

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    Update on Research from Dr. Saltzman – We’re Getting Closer!

    Here is an update on our research from Dr. Saltzman himself! We’ve already raised over $200,000! We’re so close! Read More: goo.gl/m3CoieCancer Cure Rate

  • Project Stealth Featured Among PM360′s “2014 Greatest Creators”

    Project Stealth was featured on PM360 as a “2014 Greatest Creator.” Much thanks to our partners, StoneArch and Pineapple RM! […]

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    Project Stealth Featured Among PM360′s “2014 Greatest Creators”

    Project Stealth was featured on PM360 as a “2014 Greatest Creator.” Much thanks to our partners, StoneArch and Pineapple RM! Read More: PM360 ArticlePM360 Online Feature

  • StoneArch Wins Award for Project Stealth Media Kit

    Congratulations to Jessica Boden, President of StoneArch advertising agency, for winning a Women In Business award for creatively branding the […]

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    StoneArch Wins Award for Project Stealth Media Kit

    Congratulations to Jessica Boden, President of StoneArch advertising agency, for winning a Women In Business award for creatively branding the Project Stealth media kit. Check out the article here!Women In Business Award article

  • Verdant Tea Donates all Proceeds to Project Stealth 12/6-12/8, 2013

    HELP FUND a SNEAK ATTACK on CANCER For every dollar you spend between Friday December 6th and Sunday December 8th, […]

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    Verdant Tea Donates all Proceeds to Project Stealth 12/6-12/8, 2013

    HELP FUND a SNEAK ATTACK on CANCER
    For every dollar you spend between Friday December 6th and Sunday December 8th,
    Verdant Tea is donating one dollar to a revolutionary cancer research lab called Project Stealth. This new treatment for cancer is being developed just blocks away from
    Verdant Tea at the University of Minnesota, with proven results.
    So if you spend $50, we’ll donate another $50 to Project Stealth.
    If you spend $100 this weekend, we’ll donate $100, too!
    We’re matching purchases in donations – dollar for dollar
    - up to $7500 over the weekend.

  • Today’s StarTribune features Project Stealth

    In an extensive article in the November 24, 2013 edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, reporter Dan Browning explains Project […]

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    Today’s StarTribune features Project Stealth

    In an extensive article in the November 24, 2013 edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, reporter Dan Browning explains Project Stealth to millions. Please read the article and share it via social media, email or whatever.  It’s a perfect Thanksgiving story.

    Click here to read the very inspiring article.

THE CANCERS THAT PROJECT STEALTH IS CURRENTLY TARGETING INCLUDE:

  • OSTEOSARCOMA
  • NEUROBLASTOMA
  • LUNG
  • PANCREATIC
  • COLON
  • BRAIN
  • BREAST

Dan Saltzman, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and the Surgeon-in-Chief at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. He has authored ten book chapters and over 125 published articles and holds five patents.

 

1+ PEOPLE
EVERY MINUTE,
EVERY DAY DIE
FROM CANCER

 

The fundraising is over, but the research continues. We’re currently studying ideal dosing intervals and amounts, as well as potential combinations with other types of therapy, with the goal of maximizing the cancer-fighting efficacy of the therapy—with few or zero side effects.

Based on compelling preliminary data, Project Stealth is now eligible to compete for federal government cancer research grants.

 

586,000
ESTIMATED NUMBER
OF CANCER DEATHS
IN U.S. IN 2014

 

Project Stealth has identified a combination therapy of four different immune-modulating proteins we found to be most effective at killing cancer.

 

Project Stealth Cancer Research
In 13 published studies involving mice, there have been NO SIDE EFFECTS.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT