What is Fanconi Anemia (FA)?
Fanconi anemia is an inherited disease that can lead to bone marrow failure and cancer. Though considered primarily a blood disease, FA may affect all systems of the body. Most patients require a bone marrow transplant in childhood. Many patients develop leukemia. Patients who live into adulthood are extremely likely to develop head and neck, gynecologic, and/or gastrointestinal cancer which occur much earlier than the general population.
Due to the high incidence of cancer in FA patients, the disease has captured the attention of researchers worldwide. Discovering a link between defective FA genes and certain cancers such as head and neck, gastrointestinal, gynecologic and breast cancer in the non-FA population has led many top researchers to believe that finding a cure for the disease may be a key to beating cancer itself.
KATA has funded over $1 million in Fanconi anemia research, including research into the causes, treatment and prevention of cancers particularly harmful to FA patients. Click here for a list of specific research funded.
Children With Special Needs
With the commitment to reflect the lives and hearts of Kendall and Taylor, KATA also provides a limited amount of funding for projects that enhance the lives of children living with the challenges of disease, disability and poverty.
Since 2006, KATA has provided nearly one quarter of a million dollars in funding for these secondary projects*. Click here for a list of specific projects funded.
How You Have Helped
By helping fund nearly 1.5 million dollars in Fanconi anemia research, YOU have given hope to FA patients worldwide. Click here for a list of specific research funded.
- FA individuals are living longer and better with 33 years now the current median lifespan.
- When Kendall and Taylor were diagnosed in 1991, transplant outcomes were dismal. Today bone marrow transplant success rates for FA patients with a matched unrelated donor have risen from 0% in 1989 to over 87% today in some transplant centers that specialize in Fanconi anemia. Matched sibling donor transplants have risen from a 35% success rate to close to 100% today in those centers.
- Pilot funding has enabled many FA researchers to go on to receive major grants for FA research from the National Institutes of Health and other funding sources worldwide.
- 19 FA genes have now been identified. BRCA1, the most common breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene, has been identified as an FA gene. Five of the 19 FA genes, including BRCA2, are also breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility genes. Research on FA cancers has benefits that extend far beyond FA patients!
YOUR DONATION MATTERS!
[Research efforts into Fanconi anemia] have demonstrated that a rare genetic disorder can provide a vital key to understanding the basic biological process of cancer itself. The importance of these efforts to the advancement of medical science cannot be overstated.
- Lee Hartwell, PhD, President and Director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA. Winner, Nobel Prize, 2001.
*KATA is governed by a nine member Board of Directors that is committed to minimizing costs in order to maximize the impact of money raised. Since its formation in 2006, KATA has kept its combined administrative and fundraising costs at less than 11%.