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Childhood Cancer

Announcing 2023 Infrastructure Grants to Support Clinical Trials

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 21, 2023

green background with text of announcing $1.1M for pediatric cancer trial support

We are thrilled to announce $1.1 million in new grants to bolster pediatric cancer clinical trial enrollment. Clinical trials play a crucial role in the fight against childhood cancer. The unsung heroes who help make clinical trials happen for kids are the dedicated clinical research associates, nurses, and support staff.

This $1.1 million supports these necessary roles to ensure more kids get treated on a clinical trial, often their best hope for a cure.

Without your support, these grants would not be possible. Thank you for your generosity and passion to Conquer Kids’ Cancer.

The following institutions were awarded a St. Baldrick’s Foundation Infrastructure award:

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Research Outcomes: Inspiring Hope

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 16, 2023

Our St. Baldrick’s Foundation Research Outcomes blogs highlight examples of the progress your donations are supporting. This quarterly edition focuses on promising new treatments for two types of pediatric sarcoma, protecting kids’ brains while treating brain tumors, and the ease of treating retinoblastoma with chemotherapy.

Thank you for making this research possible.

general lab equipment with text Research Outcomes

Protecting Kids’ Brains During Radiotherapy Treatment

Radiation therapy is commonly used to treat central nervous system (CNS) tumors in children and adults. While radiation therapy doesn’t usually harm the brains of adults, it can cause serious problems for kids. St. Baldrick’s funded researcher, Dr. Kristopher Sarosiek and colleagues discovered that the younger the patient, the more damage the radiation does to their brain. Additionally, they discovered that radiation triggers a process that leads to brain cells dying in kids but not adults. Digging further, they identified a specific protein called BAX that is responsible for this cell death. When they blocked BAX, it prevented brain cells from dying in models. This finding could lead to new ways to protect kids’ brains while undergoing radiation therapy.

This grant is named for the Making Headway Foundation whose mission for the past 20 years has been to provide care and comfort for children with brain and spinal cord tumors through a continuum of services and programs while also funding medical research for cures.

A Promising New Target for Ewing Sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma is an aggressive pediatric bone or soft tissue cancer. Unfortunately, current treatments are not very effective, especially when the cancer has spread or doesn’t respond to treatment. To discover better treatment options for kids with Ewing sarcoma, Dr. Poul Sorensen and colleagues are studying proteins on the surface of Ewing sarcoma cells.

They discovered a new protein not previously known to be associated with this cancer. This protein, called ENPP1, is found only in Ewing sarcoma and not in normal tissues. Because the protein is only in Ewing sarcoma cancer cells it makes for a promising target because therapies could potentially find this protein, leaving normal tissues alone. The researchers are hopeful this will open the door to new immunotherapy treatments for Ewing sarcoma.

This St. Baldrick’s Martha’s BEST Grant for All is funded through an anonymous $1 million donation aimed at developing new treatments for Ewing sarcoma, an aggressive bone and soft tissue cancer in children and young adults. This grant is named for a special teenager who passed away from Ewing sarcoma.

New CAR T-Cell Therapy Eliminates Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma affecting kids. A recent study from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation EPICC Team (Empowering Pediatric Immunotherapies for Childhood Cancer) showed that CAR T-cell therapy effectively eliminated the vast majority of rhabdomyosarcoma tumors in models in a matter of weeks.

CAR T-cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy that involves taking cancer-fighting immune cells, called T cells, from a patient and modifying them to target a specific protein found on the surface of cancer cells. The modified T cells are then injected back into the patient, with a boosted ability to fight cancer. Next steps will move this therapy into humans in a phase I clinical trial. “We have a great deal of work ahead, but the hope is that this therapy is going to work for people with this type of cancer that has been unresponsive to other treatments,” says lead investigator Dr. Javed Khan.

Chemotherapy for Retinoblastoma, A Feasibility Study

Retinoblastoma is the most common type of eye cancer in kids. Delivering chemotherapy directly into the eye as a treatment to save the eye in kids with advanced retinoblastoma is used more and more, based on internationally reported success mainly through retrospective studies. To study the feasibility of this treatment (how easily it can be provided) with St. Baldrick’s Support, the Children’ Oncology Group (COG) initiated a clinical trial at 9 institutions. Findings showed it is not feasible due to trouble accessing the appropriate location in the eye to deliver the medicine in some patients. These results do not mean the treatment is not effective, but suggest doctors use caution when considering this treatment to acknowledge the difficulty of delivering the chemotherapy, and invest in specialized training in order to make the treatment easier to administer. Feasibility studies are important to ensure the best treatments are available for kids with cancer.

Not every publication of research supported by St. Baldrick’s makes the news, but each one adds to the body of scientific knowledge that takes us one step closer to better outcomes for kids with cancer. Your continued support will make more research possible to Conquer Kids’ Cancer.

Donate now and help support research into better treatments for kids with cancer.


Read more on the St. Baldrick’s blog:

Childhood Cancer

Cancer will Pho-ever be Part of Connor’s Journey

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 14, 2023

During his battle with cancer, Connor Johnson discovered a passion for cooking that has since propelled him to become a leading chef in Raleigh, N.C. Today, he views food as his most effective means of connecting with others.

cancer survivor Connor Johnson showing his cancer survivor arm tattoo

Cancer Survivor and Chef, Connor Johnson

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Childhood Cancer

Creating HOPE for Kids with Osteosarcoma

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
October 18, 2023

Helping Osteosarcoma Patients Everywhere (HOPE) Super Grant Announcement funding partners: St. Baldrick's, Battle Osteosarcoma, Children's Cancer Research Fund, Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, The Faris Foundation, Children's Cancer Fund, Nationwide Children's

When any cancer patient has a relapse, it’s bad news. For kids with osteosarcoma, a kind of bone cancer, a relapse is devastating, greatly reducing the chance for a cure. But thanks to a great new research project and a group of driven funders, there’s hope on the horizon.

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Do What You Want

13 Ways You Can Help Kids With Cancer in October

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 30, 2023

Gather round, ghosts and goblins, Halloween is creeping around the corner, bringing along with it the best fall-tastic ways to fundraise. Check out these 13 spooktacular ideas to support childhood cancer research grants for a scary good time!

October Fundraiser

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Understanding the Cause of a Rare & Aggressive Childhood Leukemia

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 15, 2023

photo of gold, green, and blue hexagons in the upper left and lower right hand corners with text understanding the cause of a rare childhood leukemia

With support from both the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and the American Cancer Society, analysis of data from over 5,000 kids with cancer may provide new opportunities for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

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Childhood Cancer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – Who Will You Save?

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 1, 2023

photo of Beckett with text September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Who Will You Save?

Did you know that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? It’s a time to raise awareness about the realities of childhood cancer and the need to fund critical research. Imagine a world where every child diagnosed with cancer could be cured – we can make it happen together. Your donation can save lives by funding the best research to find cures.

You have the power to help save a future teacher, firefighter, or scientist who discovers new cures. Your support could save someone’s big brother, loyal friend, future spouse, or child.

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Research Outcomes: Unveiling Hope

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 17, 2023

Our St. Baldrick’s Foundation Research Outcomes blogs highlight examples of the progress your donations are supporting. This quarterly edition focuses on understanding how rhabdomyosarcoma grows, using immunotherapy to treat pediatric brain tumors and relapsed neuroblastoma, as well as research to understand the experiences of adolescents and young adults being treated for advanced pediatric cancer.

Thank you for making research – and hope — possible.

general lab equipment with text Research Outcomes

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Events and Fundraisers

Join the 60-Mile Facebook Challenge to Conquer Kids’ Cancer!

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 16, 2023

Are you ready to make a difference and save lives? Join the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for the exciting 60-Mile Run Facebook Challenge to Conquer Kids’ Cancer. Throughout September, in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, take on the challenge of completing 60 miles in 30 days while raising funds for lifesaving research and bringing hope to children battling cancer.

A Challenge for Everyone:

Not interested in running? No problem! You can achieve the 60-mile goal by walking, cycling, hiking, or even dancing. The key is to complete the distance in a way that suits you, while contributing to the cause and enjoying your preferred activity.

green background with 2 up arrows with text Start your Challenge Here

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Meet Ford: A Feisty and Fierce Little Warrior

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 27, 2023

Ford is a commanding force, in all senses of the word. As a Leo born in August, he truly encompasses all traits of the fierce lion – courageous, fearless, and brave. Not only does he light up a room with his infectious smile, laughter and captivating voice, he draws everyone in like a magnet.

Little boy affected by cancer sitting on his porch smiling.

Ford smiling from ear to ear in his lion ears.

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