Announcing St. Baldrick’s July 2021 Grants

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 20, 2021

This new investment of $3.5 million brings the total granted by St. Baldrick’s for research since 2005 to more than $310 million.

The 9 grants include new funding for 3 new St. Baldrick’s Scholars, and 1 new International Scholar from Uganda. Also receiving new funding for projects already underway are 4 team science projects (Consortium grants) and 1 Strategic Initiative: the Pediatric Cancer Data Commons.

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The breadth and depth of the research we fund for childhood cancers is unparalleled. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation funds the best research, no matter where it takes place, across the spectrum of research from basic research to clinical trials.

This new investment is no exception.

Grants being funded this cycle include translational research, research focusing on improving outcomes of childhood cancers in specific ethnic groups, and more.

“Translational research” sounds exciting, but what does it mean?

Basically, translational research refers to the work being done to make a new discovery useful to everyday people – in other words, bridging the laboratory and the clinic. Translational research is vital to improving how patients are taken care of in the future.

New St. Baldrick’s Scholar, Dr. Cheng-Chia Wu of Columbia University, is working on translational research to improve the outcomes for children with a fatal brain tumor, diffuse midline glioma (DMG). The brain’s natural barrier prevents drugs from reaching the tumor. Focused ultrasound (FUS) uses sound waves to temporarily open the blood brain barrier to increase drug delivery to the protected tumor cells in the brain. Using a promising drug tested in cancer cells in the laboratory, with SBF support he is examining if FUS can increase its delivery and whether the addition of radiation can further improve the outcomes.

Read about other translational research you help make possible.

The term “disparity” describes something that is unfairly unequal.

The Reducing Ethnic Disparities in Acute Leukemia (REDIAL) Consortium is working to tackle ethnic outcome disparities by gathering clinical and genomic data and biologic samples. This information will be used to predict those who have the greatest risk of poor outcomes, with a focus on Hispanics, to improve prevention of relapse and treatment strategies. This consortium is led by Dr. Philip Lupo at Baylor College of Medicine and involves 6 other research institutions working together to better understand and dispel disparities.

There is also a disparity in survival rates of pediatric cancer in low-income countries compared to high-income countries. This was a driving force behind the 2013 creation of the St. Baldrick’s International Scholar program for pediatric oncology researchers in low and middle-income countries.

In Africa, the majority of children who get cancer die from their disease. This happens in many cases because the patients do not get a correct diagnosis. Without a precise and correct diagnosis, these children cannot benefit from the newest curative treatments. That’s why new International Scholar Dr. Fredrick Lutwama will develop and test a strategy to diagnose pediatric cancer correctly in a manner that is affordable, reliable, and within a shorter time frame in resource-limited settings.

Thank you for supporting the best research, no matter where it takes place, to help all kids with cancer survive and thrive.

The full list of institutions receiving grants:

  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Emory University School of Medicine Department of Pediatric and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  • University of Chicago
  • Children’s Oncology Group

The next set of grants will be announced in November, supported by donations between now and October. Visit the St. Baldrick’s grants page to learn more about all the research you’re making possible.

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


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