Detroit-Area Couple Contribute $40m to Leading Cancer Research Center

Detroit-Area Couple Contribute $40m to Leading Cancer Research Center

A local Detroit area couple, active in philanthropy locally and nationally, announced a $40 million gift to the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan. Danialle and Pete Karmanos seek to help cancer patients receiving immunotherapy as well as other measures to help mitigate the risk posed by COVID-19 to cancer patients. The couple have been incredibly generous within the region and beyond—contributing financially to health and community efforts.

The Challenge

An estimated 650,000 Americans are on chemotherapy regimens and they are at risk as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on due to the immune system-suppressing cancer treatments they receive to address their illnesses.

Fighting Back in the Motor City

As the Karmanos see it, they “don’t like bullies in any form—especially diseases and viruses.” And continued in a statement, “We will do everything we can to fight back and protect, and empower as many people as we can. We’re focused on helping those struggling to beat this disease in the city we love.”

Contributing Hundreds of Millions

The couple have injected hundreds of millions of dollars into dozens of local and national organizations to bolster cancer research, reports local community press Pappas Post. In fact, the local cancer center is named the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Mr. Karmanos, the son of a Greek immigrant, made a fortune co-founding Compuware and selling to private equity. But he gives much of it back.

Karmanos Cancer Institute: Research and Care

Based in Detroit, the provider includes 16 locations throughout Michigan, represents the largest cancer research and provider network in the state. It is one of 51 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer treatment and research centers in the United States. Affiliated with the Wayne State University of Medicine, the institute has 1,000 staff members, including 300 doctors, and 100 researchers. The staff treats approximately 13,000 patients annually and operates with a $260 million budget.

The center has been named one of America’s Best Hospitals for Cancer Care & Research by the Women’s Choice Award for 2018. And in the past, Karmanos has been ranked as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Cancer Care by the Women’s Choice Award (2011-2012 and 2014-2017). The provider won the Women’s Choice Award from 2011-2012 and 2017. And secured a Women’s Choice Award for Patient Experience in 2017

Clinical Research

Karmanos Cancer Institute, thanks to the NCI designation and affiliation with Wayne State University, is a major hub of cancer research in the Detroit metropolitan area. In fact, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute operates one of the largest clinical trials programs in the nation, offering access to patients of more than 250 treatments often available only at Karmanos. The research center conducts 800 cancer-specific scientific investigations programs and clinical trials annually. Their Phase I Clinical Trials program allows them to participate in the Early Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network (ET-CTN) of the NCI—with Karmanos being the only site in Michigan. This program assists with early drug development endeavors

Other research programs include Molecular Imaging, Molecular Therapeutics, Population Studies & Disparities Research and Tumor Biology and Microenvironment. The research center has secured partnerships with both Wayne State University and Caris Life Sciences (a precision medicine focused biotech venture).

Core Facilities include shared services across research endeavors while Karmanos Cancer Institute lists all of their ongoing clinical trials. See the list for all open clinical trials

An Impressive Character

Pete Karmanos Jr. achieved the American Dream and then some. The son of a Greek immigrant believes strongly in education as a tool for success. He founded Detroit-based Compuware, building what turned into a billion dollar-plus software corporation. He retired in 2013, and in addition to owning a National Hockey League team for a while, is now active in not only contributing to health care but running a venture that is contributing to Detroit’s renaissance, actively part of the remaking of downtown Detroit.