TeamConnor awards $320,000 in grants for childhood cancer research
Mar 16, 2013
Dr. Ernesto Dian-Flores, Dr. Mignon Loh, and Michelle Doral, Clinical Research Coordinator from California San Francisco San Benioff Children's Hospital.
TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation, based in Dallas, recently awarded $320,000 in grants to four institutions across the country for the continued support of childhood cancer research.
“Funding research is crucial to finding better treatments for children battling cancer,” said Jennifer Bolton, executive director of TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. “TeamConnor is committed to funding more clinical projects that will advance the treatment and cure of pediatric cancer and most directly impact children with cancer.”
Dr. Ernesto Diaz-Flores with the University of California San Francisco San Benioff Children’s Hospital was awarded a $60,000 grant to identify drug targets in hypodiploid acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). ALL is the most common leukemia in children, accounting for more than 4,000 new cases each year in the U.S., UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital is ranked one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
“We are very thankful to the TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation for this grant as it will allow us to further investigate the molecular basis of hypodiploid B cell leukemia, a disease with a very poor prognosis. We are hopeful that our studies will provide novel therapeutic approaches that will be translated in improving patient outcomes,” said Dr. Diaz-Flores of University of California San Francisco.
TeamConnor awarded a $100,000 grant to Dr. Nabil Ahmed with Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. This grant provides support for Dr. Nabil’s clinical trial studying an adoptive immunotherapy for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). GBM is a common and aggressive malignant brain tumor that has a very poor survival rate in pediatric patients.
Dr. Andreas Lacko with Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas received a $100,000 grant from TeamConnor to research enhanced neuroblastoma therapy using targeted biocompatible nanparticles. Cook Children's neuroblastoma program is rapidly advancing, offering new approaches to therapy for this complex patient population.
TeamConnor also awarded a $60,000 grant to Dr. Rachid Drissi of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. This grant will allow further research of Telomerase as a marker and therapeutic target for pediatric high-grade glioma.
“Funding is critical to generate preliminary data that will be used to garner National Cancer Institute (NCI) support for further pre-clinical studies and to delineate the role of telomerase in high-grade glioma tumorigenesis,” said Dr. Drissi of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “Support from foundations such as TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is crucial to allow us to generate the preclinical data necessary, not only to advance pediatric brain tumor research, but also will lead us to better treatment options in children with poor prognosis brain tumors.”
Every year, more than 12,400 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children, yet the budget of the National Cancer Institute allocates only 3% of its funds to pediatric cancer research. TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funding research and treatment programs to find a cure for childhood cancer.
TeamConnor hosts several events throughout the year to raise funds for childhood cancer research, including the III Forks Golf Classic May 5 and 6; the Color Me Green 5K and Caterpillar Dash in October, and the 3rd Annual Northwestern Mutual Clay Shoot November 7.
In addition, TeamConnor’s national program, Coins for Kids with Cancer, raises funds in schools, churches, offices and organizations to help fund childhood cancer research.
For more information about TeamConnor’s events or Coins For Kids with Cancer, please visit teamconnor.org or find the foundation at www.Facebook.com/TeamConnor.