Since 1982, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) has been chasing one ambitious goal: to make it possible for all children facing childhood cancer to beat their disease and realize their full potential. We will achieve this by powering cures where none exist and giving rise to less toxic regimens that have fewer side effects.
While the challenge is huge, we are both optimistic and determined. We have invested more than $58 million in pediatric cancer research and contributed to groundbreaking advances in treatment. Moving forward, we are energized about using our insights, experience and leadership to uncover promising new directions and drive momentum in pediatric cancer research.
We know that meaningful progress relies on investing in high-potential research that advances the learning cycle and yields new insights. We know, too, that achieving breakthroughs means championing and nurturing the researchers who are moving science forward every day. By working together — with the research community, our partners and kind-hearted supporters — we are giving flight to the progress that will help transform pediatric cancer care.
Because of research, the cancer death rate has decreased more dramatically for children than any other age group.
Below are innovations that have been advanced with PCRF funding:
PCRF funded development of a new treatment approach pairing genetic engineering with immunotherapies and launched the first in-human protocol using T cells to target Leukemia.
This groundbreaking work proved that when CAR-T cells are infused back into the same patient, they can mount full-blown immune attacks on tumor cells. It also contributed to state-of-the-art therapies weaponizing the body’s immune system that are at the forefront of immuno-oncology today.
Our funding demonstrated the potential for immunotherapy to treat osteosarcoma, offering one of the only new treatments in almost 20 years. The breakthrough led to new treatments for adolescent and young adult patients who previously had no options.
PCRF funded diagnostic tests that predict which patients are likely to respond positively to the intensive treatment to JMML. This risk stratification allows for treatment decisions to be optimized, giving patients a higher likelihood of success in a disease with 50% survival rate.
Since 2008, PCRF funding has advanced treatments for children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and builds on the insight that a protein called CREB is overproduced in AML patients. Research has focused on developing newer and better drugs to block CREB – causing AML cells to die. One drug is now in Phase 1 Trials.