Chicago, USA – A 19-year-old teenager may soon hold the key to healing colon cancer.
While his previous successes have been remarkable, Keven Stonewall is well on his way to becoming the type of scientist who leaves a lasting impact in the field of cancer research.
In his final year of high school, the young South Side native was already working on a potential colon cancer vaccine in a laboratory at Rush University, reports DNAInfo.
“My friends, family members have died from cancer,” Stonewall said in a video for VNM. Many people are affected by cancer. Therefore, I felt that I had the role of standing up and acting against this scourge. ”
At first, his friends laughed at his dedication to science. When they were on vacation, Keven was locked up in his laboratory.
“I am one of the few children involved in this cause,” said Stonewall. “At first they made fun of me, with comments like, ‘Come on man, why do you want to be in the lab all day?’ ”
But after realizing that his time spent in the laboratory produced concrete results, his friends changed their minds. In fact, they even admitted that they were inspired by him.
“Now many of my friends are more motivated to do better,” said Stonewall. “I can make a difference in a person’s life without even knowing it. ”
For his experience, Stonewall injected a high concentration of a cancer-fighting substance, mitoxantrone, into the bodies of young and older mice. He then injected “aggressive” colon cancer cells into the bodies of these mice. After three days, Stonewall noticed that his experimental vaccine was 100% effective in young mice – their tumors were gone and they showed immunity to colon cancer. However, older mice are still affected by cancer cells.
Rush University laboratory director Carl Ruby said the Stonewall experience had helped scientists to realize that they needed a specific vaccine for the elderly.
The teenager “should be announced to help develop more effective colon cancer treatments that will impact the elderly, the most vulnerable category for colon cancer,” Ruby reported from DNAInfo. “He has all the tools. It will go far. ”
Stonewall has won numerous awards for his research. He was a finalist for the Intel International Science and Engineer Fair award in 2013.
He is now in his second year at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and is working on a vaccine that he hopes to be able to test on humans one day.
The young man attributes his success to his parents who motivated him to succeed in his academic studies. Her father and mother are both teachers in Chicago public schools. When he first showed interest in science in high school, he remembers that his parents bought him four microscopes for Christmas.
Stonewall hopes to eventually create a vaccine that will cure colon cancer once and for all.
“If you don’t plan to succeed, you intend to fail,” Stonewall said.