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Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation (CKc) recently announced the awarding of $380,000 for three pediatric cancer research grants. 

To date, CKc has awarded $3.4 million to support research and programs that explore less toxic, less painful therapies for children with cancer, and drugs and therapies that are developed specifically for children’s forms of cancer. Since 2015, CKc has funded 31 research grants that have created 684 treatment options for children in 31 states, DC, Canada, Scotland, and Switzerland.

This latest investment will help support the following research projects:

Dr. Jonathan Metts, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, St. Petersburg, Fla. The Addi Sinclair Immunotherapy Trial – ($200,000)The potential for Adoptive Cell Therapy and Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL-ACT) as a treatment for pediatric malignant solid tumors (pMST) is largely unstudied, and there are no active clinical trials enrolling children under 16 years old for this treatment. The results produced by this study will be used to design future clinical trials to more precisely define the activity of TIL-ACT in specific types of pMST.

Dr. Jennifer Kamens, Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, Palo Alto, CAThe Legacy Builders Young Investigator Grant – ($100,000)Despite overall cure rates of pediatric cancer reaching nearly 80 percent, the overall survival of children diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is approximately 60 percent, lagging behind all major pediatric cancer diagnoses. This study evaluates a drug commonly used in breast cancer called a PARP inhibitor in pediatric patients with relapsed AML. It seeks to exploit faults in DNA repair and identify those patients with cancers where these faults are present in order to provide targeted treatment and improve outcomes for these patients.

Dr. Theodore Johnson, Augusta University, Georgia Cancer Center, Augusta, GASantiago Estevez Upfront and Progressive Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Trial Extension – ($80,000)This technique has already extended survival for patients with recurrent brain tumors in a Phase 1 setting, which was CKc’s first ever funded research trial. This grant extension will be used to continue providing experimental immunotherapy to children, including allowing the trial to expand by adding two additional trial sites for patient enrollments.

“Cancer remains the number one disease-killer of children in the United States,” said Bruce Parker, chair of CKc’s board of directors. “These grant funds are critical to providing support to researchers working to save kids’ lives. We are grateful to all who continue to fight to change the status quo for pediatric cancer treatment so that no family will ever know the pain of losing a child to cancer.”

Applications for this recent round of grant applications were reviewed by CKc’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which is composed of leading investigators in the childhood cancer field. The SAB members volunteer nearly 50 hours annually to select and ensure CKc is funding the most innovative research. CKc will begin accepting letters of intent for this year’s grant cycle on March 1, 2023. Interested researchers should contact grants administrator Matt Kopkin at  

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