Cure Childhood Cancer

CURE Announces $1.2 Million in New Research Grants

CURE Childhood Cancer is proud to announce our commitment of more than $1.2 million in research grants to scientists at the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University, as well as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Specifically, we are supporting the following projects:

1.    A study of a frequently dysregulated signaling molecule which regulates many genes including factors that are activated in leukemias.  The goal of the study is to identify drugs which inhibit key effectors in the signaling molecule related to tumor cell survival, but which spare genes that are essential for normal bone marrow function.  (Kevin Bunting, Ph.D, Zhengqi Wang, Ph.D.)

2.    A study to identify mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance in neuroblastoma and testing of novel treatment options using small protein molecules that affect tumor cell death. The goal of this study is screen tumors to determine optimal options of treatment and to use combination therapies of these protein molecules with chemotherapy to provide a less toxic more tumor-specific therapeutic option for children with highly chemoresistant solid tumors. (Kelly Goldsmith, MD)

3.    Continued study of a novel hybrid biological molecule which binds to  cancer cells and causes  marked cell death in medulloblastoma. (Tobey MacDonald, MD)

4.    Survivorship: the development of a model for communicating infertility risk following treatment for childhood cancer. (Brooke Cherven, RN MPH CPON)

5.    Continued study of how medulloblastoma tumors grown and the role of previously identified drug inhibitors of specific tumor proteins in blocking growth and facilitating tumor cell death.  (Craig Castellino, MD)

6.    A study to create and use genetically engineered T cells for immune-therapy in conjunction with chemotherapy to both enhance killing of tumor cells and bolster the immune system in the wake of chemotherapy effect.  This may provide a  powerful biological weapon to destroy neuroblastoma and glioblastoma cells. (H. Trent Spencer, Ph.D.)

7.    A study to target leukemia patients’ over-production of cancer-promoting proteins, which together cause fast leukemic cell growth and prevent chemotherapy-induced leukemic cell death. (Muxiang Zhou, MD)

8.    A study of the aggressive growth and drug resistance in high-risk neuroblastoma patients and the design of new therapies to inhibit high risk tumor cell growth. (Lubing Gu, MD)

9.    A study to promote research initiatives to improve quality of life for all survivors of childhood cancer. (Ann Mertens, Ph.D.)

10.  The development of humanized 3F8 antibodies to treat neuroblastoma. (Dr.  Nai-Kong Cheung)

11.   Research into Natural Killer cells seeking to determine how a patient’s genetic make-up can determine the likelihood of success for a Natural Killer cell treatment to prevent recurrence of AML. (Dr. Wing Leung)