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Curing Glioma with Dr. Martin Sharpe | Team Kelly visits Houston Methodist Part 1

August 15, 2016


In August of 2016, Kelly Kicking Cancer made its first trip to the Kenneth R. Peak Brain And Pituitary Tumor Treatment Center at the Houston Methodist medical complex in Houston, Texas. Our main point of contact has been Dr. David Baskin, who is, among other things, head of neurosurgery at the Peak Center. I had been in touch with Dr. Baskin via phone and email, but this was the first opportunity to meet with him and his staff in person. Danielle and I traveled to the Peak Center to learn first hand of the advanced techniques they are developing to treat and eventually cure brain cancer.

After introductions, Dr. Martin Sharpe gave us a tour of the Peak Center's facilities. Dr. Sharpe is an enthusiastic and energetic man who's passion in life is finding a cure for brain cancer. He presented us an extensive introduction to his advanced research into finding a cure for brain cancer, and the techniques they are developing at the Peak Center. One of the most promising treatments is the "mitochondrial smart bomb", a nano particle which delivers two drugs directly to the cancer cells inside the brain leaving healthy cells untouched. The first drug paralyzes the cancer cell's defenses, the second destroys the cancer cell's mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA cannot repair itself and the cancer cell dies. In laboratory tests, they found that one treatment with the mitochondrial smart bomb destroyed 75% of the tumor within 24 hours. I found it very interesting that the biochemistry behind the brain cell treatments actually came from the study of the effects of artificial heroin on drug addicts in England.

After Dr. Sharpe finished, we returned to meet with Dr. Baskin. He is every bit as enthusiastic and energetic as Dr. Sharpe. Dr. Baskin gave us an overview of the many projects being conducted at the Peak Center, all of which are directed at halting and/or curing brain cancers. Of the other projects ongoing at The Peak Center, the ones that caught my eye are the "nano syringes"... nano particles engineered to target cancer cells and deliver chemo directly to individual malignant cells leaving nearby healthy cells untouched, and an electrophoresis technique which has already been approved by the FDA for use. This technique uses electrodes attached to the patient's head which apply an electric field to surround the tumor. The field keeps cancerous cells from replicating.

Danielle and I left Peak late in the afternoon, thoroughly amazed and pleased with our decision to donate Kelly Kicking Cancer's funds to The Peak Center. Dr. Baskin's goal is to find a cure for brain cancer in his lifetime. I believe he will achieve that goal, and I'm proud to support his work.

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