The next generation of childhood cancer researchers are hard at work to create better futures for kids with cancer. Thanks to your fundraising and generosity there is hope, and the future is bright!
You – St. Baldrick’s donors and fundraising participants – make this possible. Thank you!
St. Baldrick’s Foundation Fellowship Awards support new pediatric oncology doctors for two to three years to conduct childhood cancer research while receiving advanced training under a mentor.
Take a look at the three stellar new 2021 Fellows whose research you’re supporting:
With your help researchers continue to answer questions, seek out cures, and reduce long-term effects of treatment. Four exciting research outcomes you made possible are detailed below:
Dr. Joseph Lubega has big news — he’s bringing specialized pediatric cancer training to his home country of Uganda, thanks to his St. Baldrick’s International Scholar Grant and a partnership between Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. Read on for more about the pioneering program and why it will be a lifesaver for kids with cancer in the region.
EXCITING UPDATE February 15, 2021: It’s been over four years since St. Baldrick’s International Scholar, Dr. Joseph Lubega, and the Global HOPE Program at Texas Children’s Hospital launched the first Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program in East Africa.
The Program, the first of its kind in the region, is making very broad and long-lasting impact: Fourteen pediatric oncologists have already graduated from the two-year program and they lead pediatric cancer care and research at nine different centers in four countries, seeing a total of more than 2500 new children with cancer annually.
The two current classes of ten trainees come from seven countries across Africa: Congo (DRC), Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Another impact of the Program has been the opening of an additional fellowship training program at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania. The second Program opened in November 2020 with 3 fellows and is led by Dr. Lulu Chirande, a pediatric hematologist-oncologist and graduate from the original program in Uganda.
“It is very exciting to see that the initial investment by St. Baldrick’s Foundation in global pediatric oncology is producing leaders who are transforming access to quality pediatric cancer care in Africa. This is perhaps the best example of how the commitment of St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s donors can rapidly multiply to impact an enormous number of children and families worldwide,” said Dr. Joseph Lubega.
Dr. Lubega speaks at the launch of the fellowship program in Uganda earlier this month.
Originally posted in 2016: Lack of diagnosis, poor care, staggering drug costs, a deficit in specialized medical training for doctors — all of these factors make survival rare for a kid with cancer in Africa.
But St. Baldrick’s researcher Dr. Joseph Lubega hopes to change that with a pioneering program that will train a new wave of East African pediatricians in children’s oncology and hematology.
Our hearts are broken at the loss of Campbell, a 2021 St. Baldrick’s Ambassador. She died on February 22, 2021 due to a brain hemorrhage brought on by CIC-DUX4 Sarcoma. Campbell was remarkable in every way and will always be an inspiration.
Originally posted January 20, 2021
I voted for the first time in November, but this is not my first-time letting Congress know how I feel. In 2018 I lobbied on Capitol Hill with a group of childhood cancer warriors, siblings, and advocates. I shared my story with three members of Congress and pushed for legislation to help kids with cancer. Having gone through treatment for more than three years at this point, I was especially determined to cast my ballot in this year’s presidential election. As a new voter, I am also looking forward to being part of the St. Baldrick’s Speak Up for Kids’ Cancer Network so I can raise my voice for kids with cancer and childhood cancer survivors in the year ahead.
Federal Funding for Childhood Cancer Research: A Conversation with Dr. Ned Sharpless, Director of the National Cancer Institute
As the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants, and as a leader in childhood cancer advocacy, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has a deep interest in the work that the federal government is doing to advance treatments. As part of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Impact Series, on January 14, 2021, St. Baldrick’s Foundation CEO Kathleen Ruddy had a conversation with Dr. Ned Sharpless, Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), about the NCI’s broad pediatric cancer portfolio.
The volunteers who make up the St. Baldrick’s Foundation certainly “think different” when raising money for childhood cancer research. And thinking outside the box was a trademark of the late great Dr. Bob Arceci – a St. Baldrick’s shavee, board member and world-renowned researcher.
In his memory, the St. Baldrick’s Robert J. Arceci Innovation Awards were created. The goal was to give doctors the freedom and flexibility to think outside the box – to explore avenues that may have been left unexplored otherwise. The grants are unrestricted, making them unique in cancer research. And they are big awards, at $250,000 a year for 3 years.
The first class of researchers to receive these innovation awards began in 2016. Dr. Charles Mullighan, from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital received the North America award, and Dr. Sam Behjati, from Wellcome Sanger Institute in the U.K., received the International award. Read on to find out where they are now:
Enrollment on a clinical trial is often a child’s best hope for a cure.
Clinical trials offer children in treatment hope for a better future with fewer side effects. Clinical trials also help scientists to improve upon the standard treatments of today, making significant strides towards more effective and less toxic cures for children now and in the future.
In a year when it feels like most things have stopped due to the pandemic, research continues. While most research labs were affected by shutdowns for a time, researchers have found ways to carry on, working hard to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. Read on to see a few interesting outcomes you’ve made possible.
That’s how Dr. Olivier Ayrault described the loss of two school friends to cancer when he was growing up. The experience left an indelible imprint on him and he believes set his course in life to do something to fight cancer.
Rare Cancer Day is September 30th, but the St. Baldrick’s Foundation fights rare cancers year-round.
What is rare disease?
When it comes to cancer, or even diseases as a whole, “rare” is a misleading word.
A rare disease is defined as “any disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States, or about 1 in 1,500 people.” About 72% of rare diseases are genetic, and of those, 70% start in childhood.
Worldwide, people with rare diseases make up less than 6% of the population. But more than 6,000 rare diseases have been identified so far, and they affect more than 300 million around the world. If these people were a country, they would be the world’s third largest nation.
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