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CURE Announces Over $4 Million in Research Awards


CURE Childhood Cancer is increasing its impact into research that will develop effective treatments for the 20% of children not surviving current methods. In the past ten years alone, CURE has raised more than $35 million to fund cutting-edge research and provide critical support to families dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Our unwavering commitment is to find a cure for childhood cancer in our lifetime.

To that end, CURE announces funding in excess of $4 million for our fiscal year 2017-2018. This amount includes our largest grant ever – a $1.5 million award for the development of the Aflac Cancer Center Precision Medicine Program. The program, which will be led by Douglas K. Graham, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Aflac Cancer Center and professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, envisions personalized, non-toxic and curative cancer therapy for all children.

“We are so grateful to CURE for this generous gift and their continued support of our patients and researchers as we work to develop new treatments for childhood cancer,” says Dr. Graham. “Through the systematic implementation of integrated, comprehensive tumor profiling and the development of novel strategies to identify individual tumors’ vulnerabilities, the Precision Medicine Program will provide state-of-the-art care for children with the highest risk tumors. Our hope is that we will be able to share these treatments with centers around the country as our new approaches are adopted elsewhere.”

“We are very excited to grow our long-standing relationship with the Aflac Cancer Center by fully funding the new Precision Medicine Program,” says Kristin Connor, CURE Childhood Cancer’s Executive Director. “CURE’s mission is to drive innovative childhood cancer research that will move the needle closer to therapies with fewer side effects for children with cancer and, eventually, cures. We believe bringing Precision Medicine capabilities to Atlanta is a very important step in advancing our mission.”

In addition to the Precision Medicine Program, CURE is awarding another $1.26 million to projects at the AFLAC Cancer Center and $1.3 million at centers of excellence around the country.

CURE’s full awards are as follows:

AFLAC Cancer & Blood Disorders, Emory University

Graham, Douglas K. MD, PhD, Aflac Cancer Center Precision Medicine Program

Spencer, H. Trent  Ph.D, Manufacturing of a GMP compliant T-cell product to treat high risk neuroblastoma

Porter, Christopher C. MD, Targeting Siglee15 for the treatment of childhood leukemia

MacDonald, Tobey J. MD, Combined CSF-1R and STAT3 Inhibition as a Novel Immunotherapeutic Strategy for Medulloblastoma

Gu, Lubing MD, MDM4-TOP2A interaction as potential target for treatment of pediatric cancers (Renewal of 2016-2017 CURE funded project)

Kenney, Anna PhD/Dey, Targeting YB1 to prevent post-radiation medulloblastoma recurrence

Zhou, Muxiang M.D., Targeting MYCN mRNA for treatment of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma of children

Van Meir, Erwin, G PhD, Investigating the tumor suppressor function of BAI3 in WNT medulloblastoma

Graham, Doug and Deborah DeRyckere, MERTK Inhibitor Combination Therapy for Treatment of AML

Thomas Cash, MD, MSc, A Phase I Study of 131I-MIBG with Dinutuximab for Relapsed/Refractory

Himalee Sabnis, MD, MSc, ENCERT: A Phase 1 Trial using Everolimus in combination with Nelarabine, Cyclophosphamide and Etoposide in Relapsed T cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia/Lymphoma

Children’s Oncology Group & Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Meshinchi, Soheil MD, PhD, Target Pediatric AML

Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute

Keller, Charles MD, Prediction & Validation of a Novel Drug Combination Against Anaplastic Wilms’ tumor

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Steven DuBois, MD MS, Phase 1 Trial of Dual PI3K/BRD4 Inhibitor for Children with Neuroblastoma

Seattle Children’s Hospital

Leslie Kean, MD, A First-in-Disease Phase II Trial of T cell Costimulation Blockade for GVHD Prevention

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Felix, Carolyn MD, Mechanism-Based Prevention of TOP2-Poison Related Leukemia

The University of Utah

Jones, Kevin B. Epigenetic Drivers of Clear Cell Sarcoma