Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 – 2:37 PM
Three physician-researchers with the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) have been awarded more than $1 million in grants from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research. The funding will be used to support research efforts spanning both neuroblastoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia – two of the most aggressive childhood cancers.
• Dr. Michael Pulsipher, head of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium (PBMTC) headquartered at CHLA, has received continued support for ongoing work evaluating cellular and immunological approaches to prevent relapse in children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
• Dr. Robert Seeger has received a St. Baldrick’s consortium grant to support CHLA’s New Approaches to Neuroblastoma (NANT) Consortium. The research, led by Seeger, seeks to enhance the immune system’s ability to eliminate neuroblastoma by targeting both the cancer cells and surrounding cells that help the tumor cells grow and resist treatments. The work will enable the development of new therapies with the potential to improve survival in children with high-risk neuroblastoma, the second most common solid tumor in children.
• Dr. Muller Fabbri has been awarded a St. Baldrick’s Scholar grant to investigate how genetics and immune cells affect the growth of neuroblastoma tumors. Fabbri is working on a new strategy to target immune cells that contribute to disease progression with a goal toward the development of more potent immunotherapies to improve the outcomes for children with this disease.
Foundation takes part in Giving Tuesday
Seven-year-old Grace Ellen Brumstead is the epitome of fierce. She’s earned her orange belt in martial arts, prefers to be called “Gracie the Ninja Princess,” writes her own stories and has been fighting cancer since she was 4.
As an Honored Kid for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Grace was chosen to be the Foundation’s face of its #GivingTuesday efforts on Tuesday, Nov. 28 to help the foundation raise $75,000 in one day. (Visit www.givingtuesday.org for more information.)
Gracewas diagnosed in 2014 with high-risk leukemia. Due to her aggressive cancer, Grace endured ten times the regular dose of chemotherapy and was immediately put on a clinical trial that increased her survival rate from 20 percent to 70 percent. Although she showed no evidence of disease after two years, she sadly relapsed this year and recently underwent a bone marrow transplant.
Grace’s parents have both gone bald at St. Baldrick’s signature head-shaving events for childhood cancer research. Just this year, the L.A.-area has raised more than $60,000 for St. Baldrick’s, directly supporting its researchers.
While many will be spending Thanksgiving at home with loved ones, Grace will be at the hospital continuing treatment. However, her family is still thankful. “As long as she’s able to keep fighting her cancer, then we will always have something to be grateful for,” Melissa, Grace’s mom, said.
Funds raised on Giving Tuesday will go directly to the St. Baldrick’s-SU2C Pediatric Cancer Dream Team, a team using immunotherapy and genomics to find new treatments for cancer.