2011 Funding Continued
Scott Carter Foundation Helps Young
Investigators Make New Discoveries
The Scott Carter Foundation was
founded by Mike and Paula Carter, following the 1993 death of their son, Scott Carter, a 13-year old who fought a courageous three-year battle with bone cancer. In 15 years, the foundation has raised more than $1 million and funded more than a dozen, two-year research fellowships – often to young investigators beginning their careers – at children’s cancer research institutions across the country.
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Hyundai Hope on Wheels Funds Hope and Help Journal
When parents are told “your child has cancer,” they are thrown into a world of unfamiliar terms, treatment
options, and decisions. They often do not know what to ask first. However, a generous $100,000 grant from the Hyundai Hope on Wheels Foundation is helping to change that. Developed by CureSearch with expert guidance from COG members, the new Hope and Help Journal provides parents of a newly diagnosed child a place to write notes, important phone numbers, and updates to their child’s condition and treatment plan. The first few pages of the Journal contain a series of questions to guide parents
4 CureSearch for Children’s Cancer
through the initial diagnosis and help them begin to think about treatment plans. This resource helps parents through their child’s cancer journey as they face critical decisions and advocate for the best treatment options for their child, and it serves as a medical reference for long- term follow-up care.
Rett Nearburg is remembered by his friends and family as a young man who approached life with joy, passion, humor, wisdom, and grace, even when faced with extraordinary
challenges throughout his 11-year battle with cancer. In 2005, at the age of 21, Rett lost his battle with Ewing sarcoma.
After his death, the Charles E. Nearburg Foundation created Rett’s Initiative to honor Rett’s life by providing funds to researchers developing a pipeline of drugs to treat Ewing sarcoma. Since then, Min H. Kang, PharmD, and C. Patrick Reynolds, MD, PhD, both of the Cancer Center at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, have served as co-primary investigators of Rett’s Initiative. Together, they have:
• Established and made available worldwide, a panel of Ewing Family of Tumors (EFT) cell lines and xenografts for preclinical testing, via the COG Cell Line and Xenograft Repository.
• Shown that a novel formulation of liposomal irinotecan, known as MM-398, demonstrates strong activity against Ewing tumors when human EFT tumors are xenografted into immunocompromised mice. As a result, a phase I/II trial clinical trial is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2011.
• Secured additional funding and created COG collaboration through a Department of Defense grant that identifies and tests molecular targets and drugs that impact them.
Young Investigator CureSearch Research Fellowship Awards
Each year, CureSearch provides seed money to young investigators beginning their careers in children’s
cancer research. This year, three talented scientists received CureSearch Research Fellowship Awards.
• Pooja Hingorani, MD, Phoenix Children’s Hospital By utilizing the latest advances in genomic sequencing, Dr. Hingorani hopes to identify novel genetic aberrations in desmoplastic small round cell tumors to one day develop clinically relevant therapeutic targets. These targets could provide the rationale for testing agents in a future COG study, eventually leading to improved outcomes for patients.
• J. Kimble Frazer, MD, University of Utah Working from the hypothesis that drugs effective in treating zebrafish T cell cancers, particularly relapsed cancers, will also be active against human T cell tumors, this study could set a precedent for zebrafish pre-clinical studies. If successful, Dr. Frazer believes this study would expedite the movement of experimental drugs into human trials.
• Jeffrey Knipstein, MD, University of Colorado By evaluating the efficacy of a new combination of therapy on atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor cells in the laboratory and in mice models, Dr. Knipstein hopes to further understand the cellular mechanisms underlying the effects seen in the lab. If the new combination therapy is shown to be effective, this preclinical model would support further evaluation in an early-phase clinical trial for this children’s brain tumor.
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