Childhood Cancer

This New Tool Could Mean Better Health For Childhood Cancer Survivors

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 28, 2018

For childhood cancer survivors, treatment helps them to survive, but often that survival comes at a cost. But what are these costs? And how big is the problem? That’s what St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Nickhill Bhakta wanted to figure out. And as it turns out, that data could be a lifesaver.

Dr. Nickhill Bhakta at his desk

St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Nickhill Bhakta works at his desk in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. With a portion of the grant supported by the St. Baldrick’s Morgan and Friends Fund, he developed a special statistical tool to help capture the true volume and complexity of chronic health conditions faced by childhood cancer survivors because of the long-term consequences of their treatment — something that hadn’t been done before. Photos courtesy of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Over the years, researchers have discovered that because of their treatment, childhood cancer survivors can be at risk of everything from heart attacks to secondary cancers to stroke. That’s helpful to know, but Dr. Bhakta recognized that something was missing from the data that was available on survivorship. It wasn’t painting the complete picture. It was just capturing the first big health scare, instead of following the survivor through the multitude of chronic, often recurring conditions.

The scope simply wasn’t big enough.

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Research

Meet the First St. Baldrick’s Fellow: Dr. Sharon Singh

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 8, 2017

Where is our very first St. Baldrick’s Fellow now? Still in the lab, that’s where! Meet Dr. Sharon Singh, the physician-scientist who was given the inaugural St. Baldrick’s Fellow Award in 2005. What does that monetary vote of confidence do for a new researcher and for the childhood cancer research field? It’s been 12 years and the results are in – read on to find out.

Dr. Sharon Singh currently works as a clinician, researcher and assistant professor with the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine.

At the heart of it, Dr. Sharon Singh is a problem solver and for the last decade, the pediatric hematologist-oncologist has been working on the problem of childhood cancer. But she knows that the big problem of kids’ cancer can’t be solved only at the bedside of a patient – problem solvers like her need to be in the lab too.

And that is exactly what Dr. Singh is doing, thanks to a St. Baldrick’s grant given more than 10 years ago.

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Kids with Cancer

Teaching Good Cells to ‘See’ Cancer: Researcher Uses CAR T Cells to Help Kids Like Zach [VIDEO]

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 19, 2017

From CAR T cell therapy in May to a bone marrow transplant in June, over the past few weeks we’ve been following the tremendous journey of Honored Kid Zach Swart. Now we bring you another angle — a closer look at the St. Baldrick’s-funded research that has changed Zach’s life.

Dr. Kevin Curran

St. Baldrick’s researcher Dr. Kevin Curran meets with a patient at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

A couple months ago, Zach Swart went through yet another medical procedure; one more to add to an already substantial history of biopsies and blood draws.

But this procedure was different than a typical needle poke.

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Research

St. Baldrick’s Fellow Studies Promising Treatment for High-Grade Gliomas

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 23, 2017

When St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Adam Green learned about high-grade gliomas and met kids diagnosed with the brain tumors, he knew he had to help. And today he’s doing just that. Read on for more about Dr. Green, his exciting research, and how St. Baldrick’s helped him make it happen.

Dr. Adam Green in the lab with his colleagues

Dr. Adam Green in his lab at the University of Colorado with his lab members, from left to right: Rakeb Lemma, Dr. Green, John DeSisto and Patrick Flannery. Dr. Green’s research is funded in part by the Luke’s Army Pediatric Cancer Research Fund, a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund created in memory of Luke Ungerer, a little boy who died of brain cancer.

Dr. Adam Green distinctly remembers the first time he gave a family the news that their child had an aggressive, fatal brain tumor. It was an experience that’s hard to forget.

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Research

Meet Dr. Elliot Stieglitz

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 23, 2016

St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Elliot Stieglitz is a big reader, but not in the way that you might think. Over three years, he read the DNA of one hundred children with JMML, a rare leukemia, and he discovered something major. Read on to learn how his discovery could lead to better treatments for kids with this rare disease.

Dr.

For St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Elliot Stieglitz, being a pediatric oncologist is the perfect blend of emotional satisfaction and intellectual stimulation.

His heart is with the kids and their families, guiding them through the toughest time in their lives. His head is in the lab, trying to find better treatments for childhood cancer.

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Research

Kids Are Not Little Adults: Researcher Studies Differences in AML Across Age Groups

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 26, 2016

Kids are special, and that’s why they need treatments made just for them. St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Heather Schuback agrees. She’s looking at the very building blocks of acute myeloid leukemia cells to spot differences that could help kids get the targeted therapy they need.

Dr. Heather Schuback at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Heather Schuback works in the lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.

Kids are not just little adults, says St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Heather Schuback.

That means their cancers aren’t just smaller, younger versions of adult cancers. They are fundamentally different.

Dr. Schuback should know. Her St. Baldrick’s-funded research is looking at how changes in the DNA of tumor cells can predict who will do well during treatment and who won’t. This information could help doctors tailor therapies from the start, getting kids just the right amount of treatment to kill the cancer, while limiting late-effects.

But these differences aren’t limited to which kids will respond well to treatment and which won’t. It’s bigger than that.

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Research

St. Baldrick’s Researcher Discovers New Way to Detect Bone Cancer

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 24, 2016

St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Wendy Rhoades has developed a new tool that could save lives — a blood test that can detect whether a patient has bone cancer. Read on for more about her incredible work and how it could help kids with cancer.

Dr. Wendy Rhoades works in the lab

Dr. Wendy Rhoades works in the lab at Texas Children’s Hospital.

What if a simple blood test could detect childhood cancer?

That’s exactly what Dr. Wendy Rhoades is looking into with her St. Baldrick’s-funded research.

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Facts

Pediatric Cancer Research Facts: A Decade of Successes [INFOGRAPHIC]

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 22, 2016

Kids are special, and childhood cancers are different than adult cancers. That’s why we’re funding research to find new therapies and cures just for kids.

We asked our researchers, “In the last 10 years, what’s been the greatest achievement in the field of pediatric cancer research?”

Here’s what they had to say.

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Facts

Babies and Cancer [Q&A]

by Erin Breese, M.D.
August 11, 2015

Anyone can get cancer — even babies. Dr. Erin Breese, a St. Baldrick’s Fellow studying infant leukemia, explains the signs, symptoms and treatment of babies with cancer, and how research is helping pinpoint better therapies so babies with cancer can grow up to live long, healthy lives.

a baby's feet

Can babies get cancer?

Unfortunately, cancer can occur at any age including during infancy. According to recent statistics, roughly 23 of every 100,000 babies are diagnosed with cancer each year.

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Research

A Small World Moment at the Think Tank

by Becky C. Weaver, Chief Mission Officer, St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 17, 2014

St. Baldrick’s Chief Philanthropy Officer, Becky Weaver, explains how a timely email led to a big realization. Join us and make a difference for kids with cancer. See ways to get involved.

St. Baldrick's logo

November marked my 10th year with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. And how much has changed since that time!

Back then, we were excited to give over $3 million to support one large grant to the Children’s Oncology Group and our first St. Baldrick’s Fellow, Dr. Sharon Singh.

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