PHILADELPHIA, PA - Led by student leaders in the Class of 2015, the Wharton Business School community rallied together to do their part to take down Castleman disease ("Wharton Knock Out Castleman Disease Campaign" led by Andrew Towne) by raising enough funds to enable a top-priority research study. Students participated in a Boot Camp 2 Beat Castleman's (led by Jonathon Sockol), a Knock Out Castleman's Challenge (led by Alex Burtoft), and several events to raise awareness for the CDCN. The donations were matched by the Penn Orphan Disease Center and applications to use the $63,000 for genomic sequencing from top scientists around the world are being accepted!

The study, which is named "The Castleman Genome Project sponsored by the Wharton Class of 2015 and the Penn Orphan Disease Center," will seek to elucidate the role of genetics in Castleman disease (CD). It has the potential to uncover new diagnostic markers, treatments, and possibly even preventive interventions for CD, which is as rare as ALS (5,000-6,000 new cases each year in the US). The more common subtype, Multicentric CD, is more deadly than lymphoma, prostate cancer, and breast cancer, because so little is known about how the disease works.  This study should help to change that! More info about the study at: www.med.upenn.edu/orphandisease/rare-disease-overview.shtml

In total, 200+ Wharton students and faculty donated funds to the campaign and many more Wharton students contributed over 3,000 combined hours volunteering on the CDCN leadership team (led by Sean Craig). Together, we grew the CDCN into a truly-Wharton initiative that applies business principles to accelerate research.

We cannot begin to thank the Wharton and Philadelphia communities enough for what they have enabled through their generosity! Though we've made major progress, the CDCN still has a great deal of important work to do.  We have samples committed for two potentially-groundbreaking studies but can't begin them until we have funding ($225,000). We also have another 10 more high-priority studies on hold until they are funded.  Please consider donating to the CDCN to help enable these studies at: https://secure.donationpay.org/castlemannetwork/

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