Friday, June 1, 2012

Choosing Cancer Charity: CureSearch for Children's Cancer

In a new series on this blog called "Choosing Cancer Charity," I have chosen to present CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation, also called CureSearch for Children's Cancer to the readers this month.  There are several reasons that motivates me to pitch this charity for your dollars, and donations of time, expertise and support.

  • CureSearch for Children's Cancer funds and supports children's cancer research spending 95% of its funds on clinical research on various cancers and providing information and support to the families effected by children's cancer.
  • CureSearch supports clinical research and trials at 175 hospitals nationwide which form a network called Children's Oncology Group (COG) that conducts NCI sponsored clinical trials.  COG member hospitals with more than 6500 physicians and medical staff is the largest cooperative entity in the world and treats 90% of children with cancer in the US.
  • It also funds basic and transnational research in difficult-to-treat children's cancers through its CureSearch Investigational Research Initiative.
  • CureSearch provides several resources to parents including an online tool, a family handbook distributed via COG hospitals, and Hope and Help journal to track and manage treatment of their child's cancer.

In a recent article in Times, Bill Saporito wrote, "...CureSearch for Children's Cancer, which is aiming to become a national center of research. CEO John Lehr says there's a direct connection between financial leverage and breakthrough research. His organization is one of the main funders of the Children's Oncology Group, a coalition of 210 hospitals that coordinate research and have the ability to run large clinical trials on, say, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer. "They have been at the forefront of all the clinical breakthroughs that have occurred over the last several decades," says Lehr." 

Recent accomplishments listed on the website of CureSearch for Children's Cancer and briefly summarized here are: 
  • CureSearch funded research showed that combining chemotherapy with imatinib doubles the cure rate in a subtype of leukemia called Philadephia chromosome positive (Ph+) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
  • Genetic biomarker analysis of leukemia (ALL) patients who took part in COG trials and had high failure rates had mutaions in a genes called JAK.  This discovery has led to new clinical trial, now underway, to test JAK inhibitor drugs in these patients.
  • Childhood Cancer Research Network (CCRN) is a repository of children's cancer outcomes and history.  It is an extremely important tool for statisticians and epidemiologists to help discover risk and natural history of childhood cancers.  When NCI was unable to provide funding for this database in 2010, CureSearch stepped in, funded the program and kept it alive.
  • A COG clinical trial showed that BEACOPP (the seven drugs bleomycin, etoposide, adriamycin, cycloposphamide, oncovin, prednisone and procarbazine) chemotherapy is a highly effective regimen in children and adolescents with high-risk Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • Research at a CureSearch for Children's Cancer-affiliated lab at Oregon Health & Science University discovered stem cells driving rhabdomyosarcoma (muscle cancer).
CureSearch deserves all support that you can give.
To donate for CureSearch cause, please click here.

Related posts:

Cancer Fundraising and Advocacy: Audience Matters. October 13, 2011.
St Jude's Children's Hospital.  In December 24, 2011 post on Christmas.

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