The work of the Stand Up To Cancer-St. Baldrick’s Foundation Pediatric Cancer Dream Team, launched in 2013 to help develop new immunotherapy approaches to high-risk childhood cancers, will continue with a commitment of $8 million from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the world’s largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants. To further the impact of this gift, the eight institutions that make up the consortium have committed matching dollars to a total of $16 million
Continuing as co-leaders of the newly charged St. Baldrick’s-Stand Up To Cancer Pediatric Cancer Dream Team are John M. Maris, M.D., pediatric oncologist and holder of the Giulio D’Angio Chair in Neuroblastoma Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Crystal Mackall, M.D., professor of pediatrics (hematology and oncology) at Stanford University and associate director of the Stanford Cancer Institute.
“We are very pleased to be able to continue the work we began with funding from SU2C and St. Baldrick’s,” Dr. Maris said. “Continuing support from St. Baldrick’s will enable us to further capitalize on discoveries in the first 4 years with a more refined focus on developing novel immunotherapy clinical trials for children with high-risk cancers.”
St. Baldrick’s and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) initially provided the Dream Team, consisting of more than 150 researchers at eight institutions, with $14.5 million over a four-year term beginning in 2013. The Dream Team worked to improve and expand immunotherapy in childhood cancers. In particular, the team integrated insights from the field of genomics into immunotherapy to identify new therapeutic targets and develop new drugs. In addition, their research focused on why immunotherapy works in some cases and not others. The Pediatric Cancer Dream Team has been one of the most successful. Among their significant achievements: