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UW Carbone Cancer Researchers Named to Pediatric Cancer Dream Team

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UW Carbone Cancer Researchers Named to Pediatric Cancer Dream Team

Dr. Paul SondelMadison, Wisconsin - A “dream team” of pediatric cancer researchers at the UW Carbone Cancer Center is among scientists at seven North American cancer research centers awarded $14.5 million over four years to develop new therapies for high-risk childhood cancers.

Stand Up to Cancer, the American Association for Cancer Research and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation awarded the grant to a collaborative team of researchers for advanced studies of novel treatments that use the body’s own immune system to kill cancer.

The team that includes scientists from UW Carbone Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Baylor, University of Washington, University of Vancouver, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the National Cancer Institute is the only pediatric cancer research group to be funded to date by this novel cancer research grant program.

“Research is at a crossroads,” said Dr. Paul Sondel, director of pediatric oncology at the UW Carbone Cancer Center and the American Children’s Hospital. “We have made strides in understanding the biology of cancer, but have not yet revolutionized therapies. This collaboration is bringing together the fields of genomics and immunotherapy and will accelerate development of novel cancer therapies that have fewer side effects than current treatments.”

UW scientists will receive $340,000 a year over four years as part of the grant. Studies at the UW include clinical trials in immunotherapy and laboratory testing of protein-based agents and antibodies. UW collaborators joining Sondel on the Stand Up to Cancer Dream Team are Drs. Ken DeSantes, Christian Capitini, Mario Otto, Peiman Hematti, Alexander Rakhmilevich and Jacquelyn Hank.

“This Dream Team united top-tier researchers across North America in a multidimensional campaign that uses the best of basic science to create new therapeutics while initiating multiple, cutting –edge clinical trials of immunotherapy for deadly pediatric cancers, “ said Dr. Crystal Mackall, chief of the pediatric oncology branch of the National Cancer Institute and co-leader of the Dream Team collaboration.

In addition to scientists, six advocates are part of the team. Kelly Cotter, a childhood cancer survivor who was treated at the former UW Children’s Hospital, is one of the six advocates. Cotter and the others provide patient perspectives to the Dream Team, communicate a sense of urgency about development of new clinical options for high-risk childhood cancers and build support and awareness for the research.

Date Published: 04/07/2013

News tag(s):  cancer