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London philanthropists put $1 million into cancer fighting fecal transplantation


A London couple, already known for giving to the community, has donated to a study into how poop could help fight cancer.

Andy and Helen Spriet have pledged $1 million to ramp up the program at the London Regional Cancer Program.

The trial involves the clinical transplantation of fecal matter from a healthy person into a person battling cancer.

The stool from the healthy donor is processed into a small capsule.

The goal is to improve the gut health of a cancer patient by strengthening their immune systems.

Already, the program has benefited some late-stage melanoma patients.

But thanks to the Spriet donation, research will expand into pancreatic, kidney, and even lung cancers.

Primary researcher, Dr. Saman Maleki, is grateful the million-dollar gift will enable his team to broaden their scientific studies. But, he said extending the lives of cancer patients will be the ultimate measurement.

“If they get to see another child get married, maybe go on vacation. That’s why we do what we do.”

London Health Sciences Foundation President and CEO, John McFarlane agreed and added the funds will ensure London Health Sciences Centre remains at the “forefront of discovery.”

For their part, Andy and Helen shared family ties to cancer as one reason to give.

But the philanthropists also want to support overall community health and what they call promising research.

"We feel we are very fortunate, so we like to share,” expressed Helen.

“Everyone knows cancer, the Big C, is a problem health-wise, and this looks like a really exciting approach to solving some of the problems with cancer,” noted Andy.

“To see positive results so quickly, we’re very enthused and looking forward to more results.” Top Stories

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