Formed in 2010, the Snowdome Foundation is dedicated to improving outcomes for Australians with blood cancers and diseases. We focus government, corporate and private philanthropic investment into fast-tracking human clinical trials of next-generation drugs and therapies, including epigenetics treatments. No other Australian organisation has this sole focus across all types of blood cancer.
For Australians with blood cancers, clinical trials with next-generation treatments give hope when there are no other options. This is our inspiration and the driver behind the Snowdome Foundation’s mission to accelerate new treatments to Australian blood cancer patients to help them live longer, better lives.
Since 2010, the Snowdome Foundation has been working hard to raise funds and direct them towards achieving our mission. To date, we have secured and directed over $9million. With these funds, we have made available critical infrastructure for eight clinical trials which have already delivered new treatments to 159 Australian blood cancer patients.
These trials will eventually recruit a total of 375 people and are estimated to reach full participation by 2018. This is just the start of where we want to head, but we are well ahead of our 5 year goal of directing $7.5million to fund new trials.
From 2014, the Snowdome Foundation is working to support other collaborations for blood cancer research that ensure patients gain access to blood cancer treatments more rapidly. We will be updating this progress in our News section on the website as more details are finalised.
The Snowdome Foundation is dedicated to all who have suffered blood cancers, those who have survived and those who have lost the cruelest of battles. Nine year old Chloe Rutherford was unfortunately one who didn’t make it and the Foundation is named after her love of snowdomes. Chloe’s father, Grant Rutherford, is a co-founder of the Snowdome Foundation.
Blood cancers are common genetic diseases, but not in the sense that they are conditions you inherit from your parents. Rather, blood cancers are caused by genes that suddenly decide to switch off or send confused messages to the cells that they control.
Blood cancers – leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma – are the third highest cause of death from cancer in Australia. Many adult and some childhood blood cancers are still unable to be successfully treated and, regrettably, Australia is leading the world in the growth of new diagnoses.
Epigenetics is a science at the very edge of our understanding of how life works. Essentially, it’s the study of what switches cancer cells on and off. Epigenetic treatments work by a combination of targeting the ‘instruction manual’ of the cell and boosting the immune system’s capacity to fight the cancer.
If we can fix that epigenome, we can attack blood cancers at their source, by developing epigenetic drugs and therapies that reprogram the epigenome and rehabilitate the rogue cells.
In 2009 the first epigenetic therapies were approved for three sub-types of blood cancers by drug regulatory agencies around the world. The challenge now is to discover for which other blood cancers it can improve outcomes and for whom these drugs are most suited.
What works spectacularly well in one person with blood cancer can fail in another. But soon, we hope to discover how to predict an individual’s response to treatments based on their genetic makeup, resulting in treatments that are less toxic and destructive and more intelligent, targeted and effective.
Donations to Snowdome are tax deductible. To make VISA and MasterCard payments, please go to the Donate section and input the required information. You will automatically receive a tax-deductible receipt via email.
If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation by cheque, please make it payable to ‘Snowdome Limited ATF the Snowdome Foundation’ and please post it to: CEO, Snowdome Foundation, Level 2, 302 Burwood Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122. Please include your name and mailing address so we can send your tax deductible receipt.
If you prefer to make a direct debit donation*, please see the following details:
Account name: Snowdome Limited as Trustee of the Snowdome Foundation
Account no: 1878 39606
Please include: your full name/business name in payer ID / reference number
* Please email [email protected] to advise us of your donation via direct deposit. This will enable us to send you a tax deductible receipt without delay.
DGR Type 2 organisations are able donate to a DGR Type 1 organisation with whom Snowdome has a quarantined cost centre via a Memorandum of Understanding. This allows Snowdome to direct the funding to Snowdome prioritised projects. Please contact [email protected] if you would like more information.