Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Awards $1.15 Million Grant to Fund Cancer Clinical Trials at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Published on 
April 19, 2011

Children's Hospital Los Angeles

MEDIA CONTACT:  Ellin Kavanagh at (323) 361-8505
Email: ekavanagh@chla.usc.edu

LOS ANGELES (April 19, 2011) – The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) has awarded a five-year, $1.15 million grant to support the Clinical Trials Program in the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The grant will provide critical infrastructure support for clinical trials, and in gratitude, the hospital has named the program the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Clinical Trials Program.

The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Clinical Trials Program identifies and tests new therapies intended to decrease toxicity of these treatments and improve patient outcomes and survival rates. The program works closely with other pediatric cancer centers across North America and around the world to carry out the necessary clinical trials of new agents and new combinations of agents in a rapid and efficient manner to battle pediatric cancers. By coordinating its studies with the overall agenda of the national Children’s Oncology Group, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has tangibly improved the outcome for children with previously resistant cancers and improved the initial treatment that children with cancer receive throughout the world. This research will be overseen by Stuart E. Siegel, MD, director of the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases and professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), Marcio Malogolowkin, MD, division head for Hematology-Oncology Clinical Affairs and Clinical Research, and Leo Mascarenhas, MD, MS, director of the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Clinical Trials Program and associate professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

“Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is incredibly fortunate to have the support of philanthropic partners like the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation who understand the critical need for funding to support clinical research in all areas of pediatric cancer,” said Richard D. Cordova, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “Our partnership with PCRF is fundamental to our research program,”

Research breakthroughs in the treatment of childhood cancers during the past 50 years—many pioneered by physician-scientists at the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases—have helped the cure rate improve from 10 percent to 80 percent.  Still, one in five children will not survive their disease, and many survivors—up to two-thirds in recent studies— suffer some long-term consequences of their curative treatment.

“Cancer is the number one cause of death by disease in children, teens and young adults in the United States,” said Siegel. “The road from initial idea to clinical application can be a long one for new anti-cancer agents, particularly for those agents to be used for pediatric cancers.  Knowing that we can rely on the support of PCRF to move the results we get at the lab bench quickly to our patients is essential to our future success.”

“The doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles are second to none,” said Jack A. Cross, chairman of the board, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. The list of their clinical trial programs, results, publications and successes is remarkable as is their commitment to do more, discover more and never give up. Based on the commitment of PCRF, they will be in a position to continue and expand the stunning work they are doing in alleviating suffering and saving children’s lives.”

The gift was announced during the board’s recent visit to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and PCRF has pledged to renew their gift every five years in perpetuity.

About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Children’s Hospital is one of only eight children’s hospitals in the nation – and the only one in the western United States – named to the national “Honor Roll” of children’s hospitals in the 2010 U.S. News & World Report rankings. Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States and is one of America's premier teaching hospitals, affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California since 1932.

For more information, visit CHLA.org. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, or visit our blog: WeAreCHLA.org.

About the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation

The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation was founded in 1982 to improve the care, quality of life and survival rate of children with malignant disease. Since its inception, PCRF has raised more than $22 million to fund cutting-edge science, concentrating its efforts in support of laboratory research that will translate into immediate treatment for children with cancer.  For more information, go to www.pcrf-kids.org.

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