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The John S. Latsis Foundation Supports Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Research

Today’s scientific research community carries a heavy burden of examining some of the world’s most devastating diseases. Hepatocellular carcinoma, also known as malignant heptamona, is the most prevalent of all liver cancers. Most of these cases are secondary, caused by a viral hepatitis B or C infection, or cirrhosis of the liver. Treatment for Heptatocellular carcinoma is dependent on a variety of factors, including tumour size and its stage; high-grade tumours usually carry a poor prognosis.

Today’s current therapeutic modalities intended to treat Human Hepatocellular Carcinomas are simply not effective. This has resulted in an increased need for research into prevention and new treatment strategies. One research team, from the School of Mechanical Engineering National Technical University of Athens are currently seeking an alternative approach to treatment using anti-flammatory properties found in plant compounds. The study’s objective is to identify these biomolecules and dig deeper into action mechanisms by using systemic analysis. The systemic approach will decipher effective compounds’ actions to pinpoint HCC therapeutic interventions. Funded and evaluated by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, the project is part of the foundation’s greater goal of supporting young research teams.

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The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation

Born in 1910, John S. Latsis began working at an early age to help support his large family. As the years past, Latsis became an entrepreneur and businessman who found great success in the shipping, financial, oil and credit industries. His career began with agricultural produce trading, then carried on to other sectors. He acquired his first small passenger vessel during the 1940s, followed by several more in the year that followed. During the 1950s he entered the shipping industry, purchasing cargo vessels and a tanker.

Established in 2005, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation aims to continue the legacy of John S. Latsis by providing financial aid and support for those in need. The non-profit organisation plans, manages and provides funding for programmes across a range of fields including science, education, health, culture, social welfare and environmental causes. An additional branch of activities is an association with the Neraida Floating Museum, which offers visitors free access to highlight the entrepreneurial history of Greece. It also aims to promote environmental awareness.

The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation partners with a variety of organisations each year to support those in need. Recently, it partnered with the Food Bank Foundation to Fight Hunger. John S. Latsis supported Greek citizens with equipment and facilities after a series of earthquakes struck the country, including the areas of Kalamata, Pyrgos, Ileia and Greven. Other organisations such as the Hellenic Fire Brigade, the Hellenic Police and the Seamen’s Pension Fund received donations as well. John Latsis’ dedication to helping those in need carries on even after his passing. Today, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation is run by the Latsis family, with Spiro Latsis, Henrietta Latsis and other members sitting on the Board.

Whilst the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation strives to provide aid to a number of groups in need, emergency relief is amongst its highest priorities. Additionally, it focuses on infrastructural improvement, academics and research, and community development, as well as highlighting Greece’s cultural wealth.

The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation also places an emphasis on environmentalism and sustainability, which focuses on waste reduction and supports a variety of environmental projects. This segment of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation aims to highlight and address the very real issue of degradation of the environment and the challenges caused by environmental inequality. It provides funding to communities and organisations to implement positive steps toward preserving the environment. These include research into renewable energy and reducing fuel poverty.

Hand-in-hand with its commitment to the environment is the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation’s focus on promoting education. This can be seen through its scholarship opportunities for public university students in Greece. Each fall, the scholarship announces a public call where applications are accepted. Students chosen to receive the scholarship will be granted installments throughout the academic year.

In addition to education, The John S. Latsis Foundation also focuses on public health initiatives. These include the infrastructural renovation of a number of medical facilities, the acquisition of specialised medical equipment acquisition and an aim at free medical service. The foundation has supported several large-scale renovations of hospitals in cities like Athens, Patras and Thessaloniki.

These efforts demonstrate the John S. Latsis Foundation’s commitment to improving life around Greece. For more information about the foundation, Spiro Latsis and other board members and the many causes it supports, visit their website.