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Spurs Star Tim Duncan Donates $247,000 to Cancer Genome Research Project

San Antonio Spurs

  San Antonio Spur Tim Duncan has made a donation of nearly a quarter-million dollars to advance cancer genome research.  The START Center for Cancer Care announced the gift this week.

The veteran Spurs forward, through the Tim Duncan Foundation and the BlackJack Speed Shop, made a contribution of $247,000.  

The START Center conducts Phase I research in the U.S., Spain and China, and lays claim to 18 FDA-approved cancer-fighting drugs in use around the world.  START’s genome project is collecting fresh tumor tissue from 1,000 patients with the 10 most common cancers in San Antonio. The goal is to perform whole genome sequencing on both the cancerous tissue and normal tissue from each patient.

Scientists will link the genetic information to the patient’s clinical outcomes.  START’s project will then make that data available at no cost to other researchers worldwide.  

On making the donation, Duncan said he decided to support this project because START is making the information freely available for the greater good of curing cancer.  

“I couldn’t have been more surprised and grateful,” said Dr. Anthony Tolcher of the START Center. “This gift will benefit the people of San Antonio and demonstrates the commitment that Mr. Duncan has to this city and the people of San Antonio.” 

START calls Duncan's gift a landmark donation that moves the San Antonio 1000 Cancer Genome Project past the halfway point to its $3-million goal.  


Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.