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Our Mission and Vision

TargetCancer Foundation (TCF) works to advance the development of more effective and personalized treatments for people with rare cancers.

We envision a world in which everyone diagnosed with a rare cancer has effective treatment options and a chance to live.

Paul Poth
Our Journey

The history of TargetCancer Foundation

TCF was founded in 2009 by Paul Poth, a dedicated husband, new dad, and lawyer with a passion for public service. Paul was diagnosed at the age of 38 with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare cancer that had no treatment or cure and very little research dedicated to it. For Paul, as for so many others fighting rare cancers, the diagnosis meant a best-guess treatment approach that relied on protocols developed for other cancers — all debilitating but none effective.

Paul set out to speed research and innovation, determined to use whatever time he had to drive better outcomes for people with rare cancers like his. In his final months, while undergoing difficult treatments and parenting his son, Paul started TargetCancer Foundation and raised funds for our first research investment – $7,500 to the Center for Molecular Therapeutics at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Paul died in August 2009, but the spark he lit has continued to grow. What began as an effort to fund basic research in rare cancers like cholangiocarcinoma and esophageal cancer has evolved into an organization that tackles challenges shared across all rare cancers, offering new options and support for everyone living with a rare cancer.

Our Work



rare cancer research

We focus on driving and supporting innovative research initiatives that propel the field forward and offer new models and hope.



rare cancer experts

We focus on connecting researchers, clinicians, drug developers, government, advocacy organizations, and patients to accelerate collaboration, information-sharing, and research progress.



the rare cancer community

We focus on empowering people with rare cancers and their loved ones to be their own advocates and make informed care decisions.

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Whether you are a:


Person living with a rare cancer

or caring for a loved one with a rare cancer



studying rare cancers



developing new drugs and treatments


Advocacy organization

offering rare cancer-specific support


Medical professional

caring for people with rare cancer


Government regulator or policymaker

addressing rare cancers

We're here to help.

Meet our team »

Learn about our impact »

Partners and collaborators »

News and updates »

Frequently Asked Questions »

Watch: TargetCancer Foundation at 5 years

Watch: TargetCancer Foundation at 10 years