Pharmacy Schools Fight Against Cancer

A fraternity from a pharmacy school in North Carolina helped organize an important race in their community last month.

The fraternity Kappa Epsilon from the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy organized the first ever Caring Community 5k run to raise money for local residents trying to pay for basic necessities and cancer treatments in the great Chapel Hill area.

The charity run was sponsored by the non-profit organization Caring Community Foundation. The Caring Community Foundation was created in 2000 by Jill Wolford, a UNC alumna who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. Unlike other cancer charity events, all of the proceeds from this event went to help cancer patients pay for their necessary living expenses while trying to pay for costly treatments.

In Alabama, Auburn University is leading an initiative with its veterinarian medicine school that could also help fight cancer in the United States and globally. The “One Medicine” initiative focuses on the research aspect of cancer foundations, working on the principle that humans and animals have much in common medically. As the director of the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer Bruce Smith pointed out, finding a cure for cancer in animals or in humans equates to finding a cure in the other species. Many advances that have occurred in the field of human medicine have been directly translated to veterinarian medicine. This works in reverse, so research and support for research in this field could benefit humans with cancer.

Pharmacy schools are often tasked with the job of research in the field of medicine and many schools have revealed breakthrough treatments for a number of medical conditions. While many other charities focus on this effort to find a cure, it is refreshing to see a pharmacy school that is trying and help cancer patients who are suffering locally.