Rangos Awards for Creativity in Cancer Discovery – Johns Hopkins University

A New Approach for Cancer Research

While some metastatic cancers can be successfully treated, most of them remain incurable and continue to kill one out of four Americans. Even initially responsive tumors quickly become resistant to therapy and become untreatable; however, a small number of advanced cancers do not exhibit this type of therapeutic resistance (e.g., testicular cancer and some forms of childhood leukemia and lymphomas). Those cancers which are amenable to treatment have sustained complete remission rates of more than 80 percent.

Motivating Bright Young Minds

Because it is still not fully understood why some metastatic cancers are curable, while the vast majority are not, Mr. Rangos proposed a competition at Johns Hopkins Medicine to attract the Hopkins community’s brightest young minds; to challenge those minds to investigate the problem posed by metastatic cancer; and to make original proposals on how to solve the problem.

The 1st annual John G. Rangos Sr. Awards for Creativity in Cancer Discovery competition was held in January 2012. It met with instant success, generating tremendous interest among 44 Hopkins students and postgraduate researchers. The 2nd annual Rangos Awards competition was held in April 2013. It, too, was considered a big success, as the number of applicants increased to 55. To capture student interest across the Hopkins spectrum, The Rangos Foundation offers cash prizes to five finalists, who are selected from the initial pool of applicants.

Enhancing Understanding for Solutions

“If we understood the reasons for favorable results better, we might be able to apply them to the more resistant tumors. We need to give young people the freedom they need to investigate and solve this riddle. This competition can inspire students to come up with original ideas, and provides a platform for them to test their ideas.,” Mr. Rangos said.