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Philanthropy Fuels Innovative Research

Federal funding for childhood cancer clinical research has declined in recent years, resulting in fewer clinical trials for children, according to the Children’s Oncology Group. With support from
foundations, companies and individual donors, researchers and clinicians at the Children’s Cancer Hospital can continue bringing state-of-the-art treatments with fewer long-term side effects to
pediatric patients. Donor-funded research projects that have received worldwide recognition within the past year include:

Immunotherapy With Less Toxicity – Patients with various childhood cancers are being infused with two types of immune cells, T cells and NK cells, to safely attack tumors that resist
chemotherapy.

Prevention of Osteosarcoma Metastasis – Scientists are studying a specific signaling pathway, called NOTCH , and a gene, Hes-1, hoping to find ways to prevent these mechanisms
from triggering bone cancer cells to metastasize.

New Therapies for Neuroblastoma – Lab studies and clinical trials are investigating therapies and developing personalized treatment for children with neuroblastoma. One trial is testing a drug, vandetanib, for the first time in children.

Receptors Targeted for Leukemia – Researchers are studying a certain inhibitor, AZ23, whose use led to a 50 percent to 60 percent reduction of acute myeloid leukemia cells in mice. AZ23 works by turning off switches that promote cancer cell
production.

Promise - Fall 2009


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center