While St. Baldrick’s is a lot of fun, there is one thing the Foundation could not take more seriously: investing every dollar raised in the best possible childhood cancer research.
An army of St. Baldrick’s volunteers have made it possible to award $127 million in grants since 2005–nearly $25 million in 2013 alone.
I am incredibly blessed to count myself among those who have seen projects from their laboratory materialize into actual clinical trials of novel therapies. This would never have happened without St. Baldrick’s support. I will make sure that every parent of a child that we treat with NK cells knows that a crazy group of ordinary people with a vision–and a willingness to bare a shaved head–made it all happen!
It takes decades of work to reach new discoveries through research, but children's lives are being saved today because of research funded by St. Baldrick’s.
Immunotherapy improves the survival rate for children with high-risk neuroblastoma.
Most kids have the high-risk form of neuroblastoma, and only 1 in 3 of these kids were cured. By adding this treatment, which harnesses the power of the immune system, almost half of children may be cured.
Relapse rate is cut in half for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)–the most common form of childhood cancer.
This was accomplished by using an old drug (methotrexate) in a new way (high doses). Until now about 80% of kids with ALL were cured. Now it's close to 90%.
Survival rate for kids with a rare type of leukemia dramatically increased.
A rare and very challenging type of leukemia (Philadelphia chromosome positive ALL) had seen very little progress in research in 50 years. Less than 20% of these kids were cured. Now by adding a new drug, Gleevec, more than 70% may be cured.
Accelerating discoveries in childhood cancers.
For childhood cancers that are both difficult to cure and uncommon, many research institutions have not been able to devote the resources necessary to open important clinical trials.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s 2012 grant to the Children's Oncology Group (COG) directly resulted in 130 research institutions opening four of these “high impact studies.” This is a dramatically successful initiative.
Children diagnosed with less common cancers or with cancer-related complications will have more opportunity to be treated on clinical trials, their best hope for a cure.
Read more about St. Baldrick’s grants and about the many ways that St. Baldrick’s funding is saving lives.