You asked for it - the RESEARCH
Last year, we raised a little over $50k to fund completion of the TACL 2009-2 study. This study looks at changing the protocol for kids who have relapsed ALL but can’t get to a full second remission for bone marrow transplant. Survival for kids who relapse but get to transplant is about 70%, for those who can’t achieve second remission, it is less than 10%. By adding an additional chemotherapy, it is hoped that kids can get that second remission and thus get the opportunity to get to transplant. The study shows promise, with one child already achieving second remission and through transplant with the modified protocol! Here’s what Dr. Thomson, the study chair, had to say about the impact of last year’s fundraising:
“To the Crush Kids’ Cancer team – the money you raised through last year’s event, has had a tremendous impact on our ability to learn whether a change in treatment protocol can help save patients with relapsed ALL. Studies require a certain number of participants to complete and move to the next phase, and eventual availability to all patients. This study needs 20 patients to complete. Without funding, studies can’t complete because the cost of running the trial for a patient can’t be paid. Your fund raising made it possible to continue enrolling patients in the study in 9 centers in the US and Canada, and in conjunction with a matching Kuni grant, will allow us to complete the study. The study is showing promise: the first patient enrolled in the study recently completed therapy without complications and was taken from having too much disease in their marrow to a complete remission and proceeded to transplant.”
How’s that for IMPACT? Last year, our riders SAVED LIVES, no doubt about it. This year, we’ll help CRUSH KIDS’ CANCER on a whole new level! This is exciting stuff – hold on to your hats!
While the CURE rate for kids’ cancer has improved since the 1960’s up to the current rate of about 80%, the SIDE EFFECTS are terrible. They commonly include secondary cancers, depression, cognitive impairment, and heart disease. Importantly, kids who survive the first 5 years after diagnosis STILL have have 20% chance of dying in the next 25 years (vs <2% for most kids):
Put in stark terms - the current "scorched earth" approach to treating kids' cancers is incredibly damaging - moreso because these kids' bodies are still developing, and particularly susceptible to damage from the harsh chemos, radiation, and surgery they are subjected to.
WHAT IF WE COULD CHANGE ALL THAT? Imagine if in the future there could be a radical new approach to cancer therapy which is called "IMMUNOTHERAPY" - using what we've learned about the genome this line of treatment would teach the body's immune system to RECOGNIZE and KILL the cancer. The effect on the patient could be about the same as fighting off the flu - the patient would feel cruddy for a couple of days, then be CURED OF THEIR CANCER. Better yet, because the body now has an immune response to the cancer, RELAPSE COULDN'T HAPPEN.
Thanks to some visionary work in science, medicine, and yes, fundraising, THE FUTURE IS NOW. At the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer in Seattle, adaptive T-Cell therapy is READY TO ROLL. Clinical trials could start as early as September of THIS YEAR. But clinical trials require funding - and funding, in the face of steep cuts to the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, is hard to come by. That's where we come in.
The clinical trials for adaptive T-Cell immunotherapy will cost $30K per child to run, and the research requires studying 12 children. This is what leads us to our lofty goal of raising $360,000 - ensuring the trial is fully funded and leading to new and much more hopeful chapter in the treatment of pediatric (and yes, adult) cancers!
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS AT ALL, email Alex!