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).
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.
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.
What are childhood sarcomas?
A sarcoma is a tumor that grows in the bone or soft tissue (muscles, nerves and fat) anywhere in the body. Sarcomas are rare, especially in young children, accounting for less than 15% of childhood cancers.
Pediatric sarcomas are classified into two major categories: bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas.
Within these two umbrella categories, there are many different types of sarcomas that can develop in children.
Sarcomas can start off being tiny lumps that you can’t feel. They can spread through the body, or metastasize, before they grow big enough to be seen.
What is embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma?
Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma is a malignant soft tissue tumor that is formed from embryonic skeletal muscle tissue, the type of tissue that grows into skeletal muscles.
When we think about skeletal muscles, we might first think of biceps or hamstrings, but embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma doesn’t usually start in the arms or legs. Most often, these tumors are seen in the head or neck, bladder, or reproductive organs.
What is alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma?
There are two main types of pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma: embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.
- Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS) occurs most often in children under 10 years old and is found in the head, neck, urinary tract, or reproductive organs. It is the most common type.
- Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) is more aggressive, occurs more commonly in teens or young adults, and usually starts in the torso, arms, or legs.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue cancer in children, with approximately 350 new cases each year in the United States.
Jason Yustein, M.D., Ph.D., a St. Baldrick’s Foundation Board Member and Scientific Program Committee Member, at Emory University School of Medicine, Georgia, explains Ewing sarcoma symptoms, treatment options, and research opportunities.
What is Ewing sarcoma?
Ewing sarcoma is a type of childhood cancer that is most frequently found in children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 20 years old.
Ewing sarcoma — the second most common bone cancer after osteosarcoma — often originates in the long, large bones of the body, including the hip, thigh, shin, chest, and arm bones.
For more than 40 years the main treatment for pediatric osteosarcoma has not changed. Patients with this type of aggressive bone cancer, most often diagnosed in teens, are in desperate need of new options. Fewer than 30% of patients survive when osteosarcoma has spread beyond the primary tumor at diagnosis.
To make a significant impact for kids fighting osteosarcoma, five funding partners have banded together with St. Baldrick’s to support a new grant – The Fight Osteosarcoma Together (FOT) Super Grant. Today we are excited to announce that the recipient of this three-year, $1.5 million grant is Dr. Patrick Grohar, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The goal: a clinical trial to test a new treatment within three years.
Patrick J. Grohar, M.D., Ph.D.
Research supported by St. Baldrick’s donors has always made an epic impact. Here’s an example of how one research team has made a huge difference for one little girl.
Mary posing in front of flowers.
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