Skip to main content

With support from donors, partners, and volunteers, the first half of CURE’s 2023-2024 fiscal year saw substantial progress. Critical research is well underway, and families battling childhood cancer are receiving vital services. This report details the tangible impact achieved in both research and family services over the past six months.

RESEARCH

Between July 1 and December 31, 2023, CURE-funded scientists were hard at work conducting studies aimed at solving recurrent and hard-to-treat childhood cancers lacking effective treatments. Among those:

Dr. Erwin Van Meir

University of Alabama, Birmingham

began studies of a compound that may reduce the need for radiation in the treatment of medulloblastoma, an aggressive pediatric brain tumor, which would spare children the detrimental effects of radiation to the brain.

Dr. Yana Pikman

Dana Farber Cancer Institute

began testing a combination of two drugs that inhibit a genetic mutation that occurs in 40% of leukemia patients.

Dr. Elizabeth Lawlor

Seattle Children’s Hospital

is making significant progress in testing the combination of two drugs to inhibit the growth of Ewing sarcoma tumors.

The remaining nine studies are in progress, with scientists working to harness the immune system to fight cancer, deliver drugs directly to tumor sites to ensure their effectiveness and understand other critical questions to develop safer curative therapies. CURE’s funding has filled a crucial gap for these researchers that will allow good ideas to get to clinical trials. We have also accelerated the timeline to ensure a quick path to frontline treatments.

CURE’S PRECISION MEDICINE PROGRAM: CLINICAL AND RESEARCH IMPACT

Clinical Progress

In the first half of the year, access to genetic sequencing has been expanded.

To date, CURE’s program has funded tumor sequencing for more than 300 children with relapsed and high-risk cancers.

For more than 250 of these children, sequencing revealed critical information about their tumors that impacted their treatment.

Research Progress

CURE’s precision medicine funding continues to facilitate genetic-based research for blood cancers, sarcomas, and brain tumors. Progress includes:

Engineered T-cells can be effectively customized to recognize and attack cancer cells with specific genetic markers in neuroblastoma and osteosarcoma.

Understanding the genetic makeup of brain tumor patients has allowed researchers to identify effective combinations of immunotherapy and chemotherapy that result in better responses for children with unique genetic profiles.

Clinical Progress

In the first half of the year, access to genetic sequencing has been expanded.

To date, CURE’s program has funded tumor sequencing for more than 300 children with relapsed and high-risk cancers.

For more than 250 of these children, sequencing revealed critical information about their tumors that impacted their treatment.

Research Progress

CURE’s precision medicine funding continues to facilitate genetic-based research for blood cancers, sarcomas, and brain tumors. Progress includes:

Engineered T-cells can be effectively customized to recognize and attack cancer cells with specific genetic markers in neuroblastoma and osteosarcoma.

Understanding the genetic makeup of brain tumor patients has allowed researchers to identify effective combinations of immunotherapy and chemotherapy that result in better responses for children with unique genetic profiles.

Research is also underway to investigate and address differences in immune profiles and survival rates among solid tumor patients based on their racial and ethnic backgrounds. The goal is to identify the existing disparities and develop strategies or interventions to overcome and mitigate these differences, ultimately improving outcomes for all patients, regardless of their racial or ethnic characteristics.

Research is also underway to investigate and address differences in immune profiles and survival rates among solid tumor patients based on their racial and ethnic backgrounds. The goal is to identify the existing disparities and develop strategies or interventions to overcome and mitigate these differences, ultimately improving outcomes for all patients, regardless of their racial or ethnic characteristics.

CURE’s focus has remained squarely on supporting the critical and urgent needs of children with cancer and their families. Informed by ongoing collaboration with families and hospital staff, we continue to ensure that our assistance aligns with the unique needs of each family. In the first half of our fiscal year, financial and emotional assistance continued to be pressing needs.

Financial Support

Between July 1 and December 31, 2023, CURE assisted more than 300 families impacted by employment disruption and income loss with mortgage, rent, utility, and car payments totaling more than $360,000. We also addressed needs by providing gas, grocery, and pharmacy cards.

Emotional Support

CURE facilitated 161 counseling sessions for 70 families in the first half of the fiscal year. These sessions, tailored for children with cancer, siblings, and parents, play a crucial role in addressing the emotional challenges accompanying the treatment journey.

Emotional Support

CURE facilitated 161 counseling sessions for 70 families in the first half of the fiscal year. These sessions, tailored for children with cancer, siblings, and parents, play a crucial role in addressing the emotional challenges accompanying the treatment journey.

Real Families, Real Impact

Last fall, we met a single father of a little boy fighting brain cancer. They travel 126 miles for treatment, making it nearly impossible for Dad to work. To help, CURE has provided meals and gas cards and has made rent and car payments. Overcome with emotion, Dad shared:

“I don’t know where we would be without CURE and all you’ve done for my family. It’s not just something; it’s everything.”

Real Families, Real Impact

Last fall, we met a single father of a little boy fighting brain cancer. They travel 126 miles for treatment, making it nearly impossible for Dad to work. To help, CURE has provided meals and gas cards and has made rent and car payments. Overcome with emotion, Dad shared:

“I don’t know where we would be without CURE and all you’ve done for my family. It’s not just something; it’s everything.”

Help us fund even more research  and support more families.