Showing 21-40 of 119 results
Agne Taraseviciute M.D., Ph.D.
Funded: 07-01-2016 through 06-30-2018
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Seattle, WA
Institution: Seattle Children's Hospital affiliated with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington

Children with aggressive leukemia frequently require a bone marrow transplant to achieve a cure. Some children have a small number of leukemia cells remaining before receiving a bone marrow transplant, which makes it very likely that their leukemia will recur. Dr. Taraseviciute, the Team Abby St. Baldrick’'s Fellow, is studying the power of the immune system to fight any remaining leukemia cells after bone marrow transplantation. To do this, Dr. Taraseviciute and her team are making T cells (a special type of immune cell) that can recognize and eliminate leukemia cells to provide a chance for a cure for children who have already received a bone marrow transplant. Abby is a brave and spunky 9-year old who loves the colors blue and green. She was diagnosed with Pre-B ALL in 2011 and had a successful bone marrow transplant but is currently battling graft vs. host disease. The Team Abby Gives Hero Fund unites the incredible support of family and friends in Abby’s honor and inspires others to join the fight for cures and better treatments.

Avanthi Shah M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2015 through 06-30-2018
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: San Francisco, CA
Institution: University of California, San Francisco affiliated with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Based on progress to date, Dr. Shah was awarded a new grant in 2017 to fund an additional year of this Fellow award. One challenge in caring for solid tumor patients is monitoring treatment response, as doctors currently use radiology studies that are unable to detect residual disease. Circulating tumor DNA is released by cancer cells into the patient’s bloodstream and carries tumor-specific mutations. Circulating tumor DNA could be used as a marker to measure tumor burden by a simple blood draw. Researchers recently developed a tool to measure circulating tumor DNA in lung cancer patients. Dr. Shah aims to design a similar tool for three common pediatric tumors. This grant is made with generous support from the Dorian J. Murray Foundation which was created in honor and in memory of Dorian 'Dstrong' Murray who passed away from Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. In his name, the Foundation is committed to provide financial support to families of children fighting cancer, raise awareness and educate people and fund new and breakthrough research.

Juan Vasquez M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2015 through 06-30-2018
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: New Haven, CT
Institution: Yale University affiliated with Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital

Based on progress to date, Dr. Vasquez was awarded a new grant in 2017 to fund an additional year of this Fellow award. Dr. Vasquez, the Tap Cancer Out St. Baldrick’s Fellow, is investigating the human immune system’s response to pediatric brain tumors and how it can be manipulated in order to develop new treatments. Immune therapies can be highly specific for cancer cells because they target proteins only found on the cancer while sparing the normal cells. This research is using nanoparticles that contain the target protein as well as medications that block other cells that dampen the immune system in order to increase the immune system’s ability to kill the cancer cells. This grant recognizes the partnership with Tap Cancer Out, a jiu-jitsu based 501(c)(3) nonprofit raising awareness and funds for cancer fighting organizations on behalf of the grappling community.

Andrew Smitherman M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2015 through 06-30-2017
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Institution: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill affiliated with UNC Children's Hospital

Most childhood cancer survivors develop complications associated with their treatment and many will require hospitalization. Dr. Smitherman is working to determine how often survivors are seen in an emergency department or hospitalized in the first years following completion of treatment. This research is also reviewing which medications are prescribed during this time to better understand what medical complications survivors are experiencing. With this knowledge, Dr. Smitherman hopes to prevent complications and improve survivors' quality of life.

Sarah Richman M.D., Ph.D.
Funded: 07-01-2015 through 06-30-2017
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Philadelphia, PA
Institution: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia affiliated with University of Pennsylvania

The immune system not only fights infection, but can also fight cancer cells. Recently, doctors have been able to use patients' own immune cells to help treat their cancer. Sometimes, cancer cells can hide from the immune cells. Dr. Richman, the Ben's Green Drakkoman St. Baldrick’s Fellow, aims to learn how cancer cells hide from immune cells, and how to make these cancer-killing immune cells more specific to tumor cells to avoid harming the patient's normal tissues. This grant is named for the Ben's Green Drakkoman Fund, created to honor the memory of Ben Stowell who battled osteosarcoma with an inspiring determination to live life fully. The fund is named after a super hero Ben created named the Green Drakkoman who defeats his enemy, the Evil Alien.

Nickhill Bhakta M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2015 through 06-30-2018
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Memphis, TN
Institution: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Based on progress to date, Dr. Bhakta was awarded a new grant in 2017 to fund an additional year of this Fellow award. While the increase cure rates for many childhood cancers is cause for celebration, researchers are increasingly recognizing the long-term consequences of cancer therapy. Recent studies have shown that survivors of childhood cancer are at risk for developing a wide range of long-term health problems and die at an earlier age due to the lifelong side effects of their curative therapies. Dr. Bhakta is investigating the magnitude of chronic health conditions experienced by survivors to inform future approaches for prevention and early detection to maximize long-term survival and quality of life. A portion of the grant was generously supported by the Morgan and Friends Fund created to honor Morgan Loudon and celebrate her strength and determination as a cancer survivor while rallying family and friends to “battle on” in the search for cures and better treatments.

Corinne Summers M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2015 through 06-30-2017
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Seattle, WA
Institution: Seattle Children's Hospital affiliated with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington

Relapsed pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia is best treated by allogeneic stem cell transplant, including cord blood transplant. The significant number of children with persistent leukemia prior to transplant are at increased risk of post-transplant relapse and poor survival. Dr. Summers is working to prevent relapse by engineering cord blood donor T cells to target leukemia. The engineered T cells are infused following transplant to kill residual leukemia. This research aims to demonstrate that these cells are functional in eliminating leukemia. A portion of the grant was named for the Georgia and the Peachy Keens Hero Fund created in honor of Georgia Moore and celebrates the 5th year past her cancer diagnosis. As a leukemia survivor, she inspires others to “just keep swimming” in raising awareness, hope, and research dollars.

Adam Green M.D.
Funded: 09-01-2014 through 08-31-2017
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Denver, CO
Institution: University of Colorado affiliated with Children's Hospital Colorado

Based on progress to date, Dr. Green was awarded a new grant in 2016 to fund an additional year of this Fellow award. High-grade gliomas (HGG) are brain tumors that are usually fatal in children. Dr. Green's work has recently shown promising results using a new medicine called Selinexor in laboratory models of HGG. Dr. Green, the Luke’s Army Pediatric Cancer Research Fund St. Baldrick’s Fellow, believes Selinexor works by restoring the function of proteins that suppress the tumor and acts as the brakes in cancer cells. Dr. Green's team is testing Selinexor for safety in children with various brain and solid tumors, and to see if it can extend survival. A portion of this grant is named for the Luke's Army Pediatric Cancer Research Fund. Luke Ungerer brought smiles and sunshine wherever he went with plenty to share with everyone. He battled a brain tumor with a positive spirit and inspired others with his courage in his short life. This fund was created to carry on Luke’s legacy of positivity with the hope that it will ripple across many lives for many years to come. Awarded at Boston Children's Hospital and transferred to University of Colorado.

Elliot Stieglitz M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2014 through 06-30-2017
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: San Francisco, CA
Institution: University of California, San Francisco affiliated with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Based on progress to date, Dr. Stieglitz was awarded a new grant in 2016 to fund an additional year of this Fellow award. Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is a type of blood cancer that affects young children and is very difficult to treat. Currently available treatments cure only half of these patients, with some children experiencing rapid death, while others get better with very little treatment. Unfortunately, no one knows why this happens. Dr. Stieglitz is using the latest breakthroughs in scientific technology to determine why some patients benefit from treatment while others do not.

Carl Koschmann M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2014 through 06-30-2016
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Institution: University of Michigan affiliated with C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

Pediatric glioblastoma (GBM) is a devastating tumor and most patients with this diagnosis will not survive two years. Adolescent patients with GBM often have mutation of the ATRX gene. As treatments for cancer are becoming increasingly personalized, mutated ATRX genes allow for a promising target for treatment in patients with GBM. The goal of Dr. Koshmann's work is to determine if mutated ATRX genes create a susceptibility to certain DNA-damaging treatments.

Christopher Forlenza M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2014 through 06-30-2017
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: New York, NY
Institution: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Based on progress to date, Dr. Forlenza was awarded a new grant in 2016 to fund an additional year of this Fellow award. Neuroblastoma patients can be treated with a molecule called 3F8, which attaches to tumor cells to tell the immune system that they should be killed. Dr. Forlenza, the David's Warriors St. Baldrick's Fellow, is researching how a part of the immune system, called natural killer (NK) cells, influences the success or failure of 3F8. Currently, researchers know that the ability of the NK cells to respond to 3F8 can be inhibited by interactions with the tumor cells. This research is testing a second molecule to block these interactions, aiming to improve NK function and increase tumor killing. This grant is named for the “David’'s Warriors” Hero Fund created in memory of David Heard to honor the spirit in which he lived, embracing life until the very end.

Robin Parihar M.D., Ph.D.
Funded: 07-01-2014 through 06-30-2017
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Houston, TX
Institution: Baylor College of Medicine affiliated with Texas Children's Hospital, Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children's Cancer and Hematology Clinic

Based on progress to date, Dr. Parihar was awarded a new grant in 2016 to fund an additional year of this Fellow award. Some children with cancer have solid tumors, or collections of abnormally growing cells, within their organs. These collections are made up of mostly tumor cells, but also of other cells that help the tumor hide from the body’s immune system and grow. Dr. Parihar is working to creating a new method to destroy these other cells found within solid tumors so that they can’t help the tumor grow. This research aims to train the immune system to specifically recognize and kill these other cells, with the ultimate goal of curing the child of cancer.

Sun Choo M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2013 through 06-30-2016
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: San Diego, CA
Institution: University of California, San Diego affiliated with Rady Children's Hospital San Diego

Based on progress to date, Dr. Choo, the Tap Cancer Out St. Baldrick’s Fellow, was awarded a new grant in 2015 to fund an optional third year of this fellowship. Ewing sarcoma is a bone and soft tissue cancer that occurs in adolescent and young adults (AYAs). When the cancer spreads (metastasis), survival falls below 30% despite aggressive chemotherapy and surgery. Fortunately, promising data has identified certain genes that are specifically turned on in metastatic Ewing cells. By developing targeted therapy against these gene products, Dr. Choo hopes to effectively treat Ewing sarcoma. In addition, targeting this unique pathway may reduce the use of conventional toxic chemotherapy agents that can cause cancer themselves. Ultimately, this research may help reduce both morbidity and save countless children with metastatic Ewing sarcoma. This grant recognizes the partnership with Tap Cancer Out, a jiu-jitsu based 501(c)(3) nonprofit raising awareness and funds for cancer fighting organizations on behalf of the grappling community.

Amit Sabnis M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2013 through 06-30-2016
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: San Francisco, CA
Institution: University of California, San Francisco affiliated with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Based on progress to date, Dr. Sabnis was awarded a new grant in 2015 to fund an optional third year of this fellowship. Cure rates for children and adolescents with metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma, the most common soft tissue sarcoma in childhood, remain poor despite decades of research. While researchers know the mutation, PAX3-FOXO1, that causes an aggressive form of this cancer, getting rid of the mutation does not kill cancer cells. Since PAX3-FOXO1 drives cells to create many new proteins, Dr. Sabnis hypothesizes that these cells depend on buffers that keep proteins from misfolding or clumping into toxic aggregates. This project tests whether blocking HSP70, one such buffer, specifically and effectively kills sarcoma cells. Understanding this vulnerability will open the way for better treatments.

Jennifer Salstrom M.D., Ph.D.
Funded: 07-01-2013 through 06-30-2015
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Denver, CO
Institution: University of Colorado affiliated with Children's Hospital Colorado

AML is a devastating form of leukemia. Therapy for AML is highly toxic and, still, only a minority of patients survive. This project aims to develop new, less toxic, and more effective therapies for AML. Dr. Salstrom hopes to use models to determine exactly which therapies will work best for which patients. This approach, called personalized medicine, allows researchers to treat each child's individual leukemia in the most effective and safest way possible.

Kira Bona M.D., M.P.H.
Funded: 07-01-2013 through 06-30-2016
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Boston, MA
Institution: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute affiliated with Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Based on progress to date, Dr. Bona was awarded a new grant in 2015 to fund an optional third year of this fellowship. The goal of this research is to identify social factors that contribute to childhood cancer mortality, and symptoms and suffering during treatment. While we know that poverty is associated with poor health in pediatric primary care and children with chronic illness, we don't know how poverty impacts the health of children with cancer. Dr. Bona will develop a screening tool which can be used to identify childhood cancer families at-risk for material hardship, and to study the relationship between poverty and childhood cancer outcomes, with the ultimate goal of designing ways to improve pediatric cancer outcomes related to poverty.

Brian Ladle M.D., Ph.D. 
Funded: 07-01-2013 through 06-30-2016
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Baltimore, MD
Institution: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine affiliated with Johns Hopkins Children's Center

Based on progress to date, Dr. Ladle was awarded a new grant in 2015 to fund an optional third year of this fellowship. While the body's immune system is capable of attacking cancer, many factors prevent this from happening. The goal of Dr. Ladle's research is to develop a vaccine to be given to patients that activates their own immune system to treat their cancer. The project focuses on how the body regulates the immune system to normally ignore cancer. New drugs are being developed that could help “take the brakes off” the immune system and allow it to recognize and attack cancer. Combining these drugs with a cancer vaccine could provide the boost needed for immune therapies to effectively treat pediatric cancers.

Jessica Heath M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2013 through 06-30-2015
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Durham, NC
Institution: Duke University Medical Center affiliated with Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center

Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer. Some types of leukemia cells have abnormal genetic material. One of these abnormalities is known to affect the CALM protein, which is essential for the cell to obtain iron from the body that is necessary for cell growth. Dr. Heath believes that leukemias with the abnormal CALM-AF10 protein will not have enough iron and by reducing the amount of iron available to them, the leukemia cells may be affected. This research project attempts to prove that these two mutations can cooperate to form leukemia. Dr. Heath also attempts to show that mutations of WT1 cause cells to function abnormally, which contribute to the development of leukemia. Preliminary work shows that cells with WT1 mutations grow faster and more aggressively. The first model to study the cooperation of FLT3/ITD and WT1 mutations has been created. Ultimately, if WT1 mutations are shown to contribute to the formation of leukemia, the development of a drug that interferes with WT1 could improve cure rates in patients with AML.

Mireya Velasquez M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2013 through 06-30-2016
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Houston, TX
Institution: Baylor College of Medicine affiliated with Texas Children's Hospital, Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children's Cancer and Hematology Clinic

Based on progress to date, Dr. Velasquez was awarded a new grant in 2015 to fund an optional third year of this fellowship. Cancer treatments consisting of the infusion of T cells (one component of the patient's own immune system) that recognize CD19 (a molecule present on many blood cancers) have shown promise in early clinical studies. However, not all patients currently benefit from CD19-specific T-cell infusions. Dr. Velasquez's lab is conducting studies to optimize a new genetic approach with the ultimate goal of developing a clinical study to address this issue.

Heather Schuback M.D.
Funded: 07-01-2013 through 06-30-2016
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Seattle, WA
Institution: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center affiliated with Seattle Children's Hospital, University of Washington

Based on progress to date, Dr. Schuback was awarded a new grant in 2015 to fund an optional third year of this fellowship. Dr. Schuback's research aims to improve treatment for children with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a type of blood cancer. This work focuses on characterizing the scope of mutations in a specific gene, ETV6, in children with AML. Preliminary work indicates that patients with such mutations are more likely to have a poor outcome. This project hopes to use the mutations in ETV6 as a marker to identify patients at high risk of relapse at the beginning of their treatment, in order to predetermine therapies that are most likely to succeed.