Childhood Cancer

This Research Helps Childhood Cancer Survivors Thrive

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 7, 2018

June is National Cancer Survivors Month and St. Baldrick’s is dedicated to funding research that saves more lives and helps more survivors! Thanks to donors like you, we’ve funded $17 million and counting in survivorship research grants, so kids with cancer can thrive after treatment ends. Take a peek at just a few of our grants that are making a big difference for childhood cancer survivors…

Lauren in the lab

2014 Ambassador Lauren is a childhood cancer survivor and dreams of becoming a pediatric oncologist. She says she wouldn’t be here without childhood cancer research.

1. Dr. Jonathan Fish with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, St. Baldrick’s Scholar Grant

Dr. Jonathan Fish

Dr. Jonathan Fish with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York.

Thanks to funding from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Dr. Fish and his colleagues were able to form the ‘Survivors Facing Forward’ program at New York’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center in 2008. Since the beginning of the St. Baldrick’s award, the program has grown to follow over 625 survivors and is now one of the top survivorship programs in the New York area. The program provides survivors with an array of services – from oncology to psychology, cardiology, fertility counseling and many more – that are coordinated to meet their unique needs and help them live full, healthy lives. In addition, the program has served as a powerful platform for research into the challenges faced by survivors, including iron overload, vascular resistance, adherence to screening recommendations and genomics.

2. Drs. Jason Mendoza and Eric Chow with the Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, St. Baldrick’s Supportive Care Grant

Drs. Jason Mendoza and Eric Chow

(Left) Dr. Jason Mendoza and (Right) Dr. Eriic Chow with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.

Because of health issues caused by side effects from their cancer treatment, childhood cancer survivors are often not as physically active or as physically fit as their peers, causing further health problems. With funding from St. Baldrick’s, Dr. Mendoza was able to conduct a small trial which featured the use of Fitbit tracking and a Facebook support group to increase physical activity among adolescent and young adult survivors of childhood cancer. Dr. Mendoza found that patients were receptive to this intervention and determined that these promising results merit a larger trial.

3. The Long-Term Follow-Up Center with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Statistics and Data Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of Southern California, St. Baldrick’s Infrastructure Grant

The Long-Term Follow-Up center provides a unique, cost-effective infrastructure for maintaining contact with off-treatment pediatric cancer patients from across the nation. With 142 COG institutions participating and 3,031 patients enrolled, the Center stays in touch with these children indefinitely and aims to facilitate progress in the study of cancer survivors.

4. Dr. Hazel Nichols with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, St. Baldrick’s Scholar Grant

Dr. Hazel Nichols

Dr. Hazel Nichols with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Fertility and fertility preservation are huge concerns among women who are adolescent and young adult cancer survivors. Thanks to a St. Baldrick’s Scholar Grant, Dr. Nichols will be looking deeper into these issues. By looking at various data, she will be studying how often women have children after cancer treatment, whether the health of their babies is different from women without cancer, how often fertility preservation is used and how it relates to childbearing after cancer treatment.

Give childhood cancer survivors the chance to live long, healthy lives — fund the most promising research today.

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