Philadelphia, PA (February 7, 2014) –In an effort to move hypothesis driven research into the clinical setting, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has announced the awarding of a new grant category, the Reach Awards, to childhood cancer researchers at leading institutions across the country. The grants, which are designed to overcome the significant barriers that impede the translation of innovative and important research ideas from the lab to the clinic, have been awarded to twelve researchers, providing each $250,000 over the course of two years.
The 2014 Reach Awards will support: William Decker, PhD at Baylor College of Medicine for research into rhabdoid tumor/brain tumor; Cliona Mary Rooney, PhD at Baylor College of Medicine to examine neuroblastoma; Margarita Gutova, MD at theBeckman Research Institute of City of Hope to study brain tumor/medulloblastoma; Gerard Blobe, MD/PhD at Duke University Medical Center to examine neuroblastoma; Rakesh Jain, PhD at Massachusetts General Hospital who will research medullobastoma; Iannis Aifantis, PhD at New York University School of Medicine will focus on leukemia; Charles Keller, MD atOregon Health & Science UniversityDoernbecher Children’s Hospital will examine rhabdomyosarcoma; Yaël Mossé, MD atThe Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for research into neuroblastoma; David Loeb, MD/PhD atThe Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center to examine Ewing’s Sarcoma; Doug Graham, MD/PhD at theUniversity of Colorado, Denver for his study of leukemia; James Amatruda, MD/PhD at theUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical Center for the examination of rhabdoid tumor; and Patrick Grohar, MD/PhD at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for research into Ewing’s Sarcoma. (Full lay summaries of all projects available under separate cover.)
The mission of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation remains to find better treatments and ultimately cures for all childhood cancers. Recognizing that clinical trials are imperative to moving innovative cures and treatments forward, the Foundation focuses several grant categories on supporting late translational studies to ultimately initiate a clinical trial. Along with the Reach Grant, the Centers of Excellence Program also supports the development of therapeutics in preparation for early phase clinical trials for childhood cancer.
“When the traditional treatment protocol failed for my daughter Alex, clinical trials became our best and only option for combating her cancer,” said Jay Scott, Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. “While the outcome of the trials was not always certain, her participation allowed Alex several years of high quality of life, including her idea to hold a front yard lemonade stand. We know firsthand how important these trials are to bettering the lives of childhood cancer patients, and we are dedicated to bringing promising research from the lab to the clinic.”
The current round of Reach Awards marks the introduction of the award category. Several of the award recipients have received previous funding from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, proving their commitment to the field of pediatric oncology. The aim of these awards is to fund studies which will result in the initiation of a clinical trial within a short time period, ideally 2-3 years.
In addition to the awarding of Reach Award recipients, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has recently announced the awarding of several other grant categories to researchers on the front lines of the childhood cancer fight. For more information on recently funded projects, visit: www.ALSFgrants.org.
About Childhood Cancer
Childhood cancer is a general term used to describe cancer in children occurring regularly, randomly and sparing no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region. Childhood cancer extends to over a dozen types of cancers and a countless amount of subtypes. Just a few of these cancer types include: Ewing’s sarcoma, glioma, leukemia, lymphoma, medulloblastoma, neuroblastoma, osteosarcoma, retinoblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and Wilm’s tumor. In the United States, childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15. Every day, approximately 250 kids around the world die from cancer, accounting for 91,250 losing their lives to the disease every year.
About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $75 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 375 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit AlexsLemonade.org.