St. Baldrick’s EPICC Team

Empowering Pediatric Immunotherapies for Childhood Cancer

Originally called the Pediatric Cancer Dream Team, this groundbreaking work began in 2013, with $14.5 million co-funded by 2 leading cancer research funders.

The mission: Bring together 2 separate scientific fields — genomics and immunotherapy — to find cures for many of the most hard-to-treat childhood cancers.

“Lightning in a bottle.” That’s how experts have described this team and its incredibly fast impact. So far, the team has:

  • Pushed the first gene therapies over the finish line for FDA approval
  • Treated more than 1,370 patients on 45 clinical trials
  • Discovered new immunotherapy targets that can be game-changers

Due to the extraordinary success of the team, when the Stand Up to Cancer grant expired, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation opted to keep the work going, with a new name that fits its performance to date: EPICC — Empowering Pediatric Immunotherapies for Childhood Cancer.

The EPICC Team

Institutions

These institutions participate in the St. Baldrick’s EPICC Team:

  • The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
  • National Cancer Institute
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital
  • Stanford University
  • Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • University of Wisconsin

Co-Leaders

  • Dr. John M. Maris
  • Dr. Crystal L. Mackall

This is big science. They’re asking us to think outside the box, to do things that we can’t do with any of the standard funding mechanisms that are available.

—Dr. Crystal Mackall, EPICC Team Co-Lead

The Strategy

Bring together two scientific areas that had been evolving...

Genomics

the study of genes and their functions

Immunotherapeutics

using the body’s own immune system to attack cancer

Progress to Date

The team has achieved tremendous progress in some blood cancers.
Now underway: tackling the even bigger challenge of creating immunotherapies for solid tumors in children — especially brain tumors, including some that no child survives today.

Phineas child cancer survivor with father

Children are alive today who would not have survived without the Dream Team’s work.

Meet Phineas

The Work

The EPICC Team's road map:

Researchers first use genomics to discover the most strategic targets the immune system should attack, to kill cancer cells and leave healthy cells alone.

Once those targets are discovered, the team develops the weapons the immune system can use to attack them.

To test these new therapies and make them available to kids everywhere, the team conducts clinical trials involving multiple institutions across North America.

Because of this team's unprecedented success, the following charity partners have helped support the St. Baldrick’s EPICC Team, to make progress not only in blood cancers, but also solid tumors:

To inquire about joining as a supporting partner, please email DistinguishedGiving@StBaldricks.org or call Susan Heard at (626) 792-8247, extension 218.
We're revolutionizing childhood cancer treatment.
Follow the journey of the St. Baldrick’s EPICC  Team.