Funds to get ITMIG off the ground came from the Foundation for Thymic Cancer Research (FTCR). ITMIG has relied primarily on philanthropic support. Several other organizations have come forward and given ITMIG start-up funds, including IASLC, AATS, ESTS, EACTS, and the Yale Cancer Center. Several industry partners have also provided unrestricted grants, including Atrium, Covidien, Ethicon, Medela, Storz and Thoramet. Other grants, such as from the NCI, have been applied for. Unfortunately federal grant money is limited and a rare disease is at a major disadvantage to compete for the limited federal funding that is available. Another problem is that federal money is primarily available to fund specific research projects once an infrastructure is in place, and not to develop the infrastructure that is the prerequisite. ITMIG has been able to raise enough funds to get started, but full implementation of the projects being developed will require identification of additional funding.
ITMIG is continuing to pursue all potential funding opportunities that are available for an orphan disease. Any assistance is much needed and appreciated.