It is an honor to announce that the Emily Whitehead Foundation has co-funded a grant in collaboration with Stand Up to Cancer and the 2019 Innovation In Collaboration Philip A. Sharp Awards to support advanced pediatric CAR-T cell therapy research.

With $125,000 in contribution from the Emily Whitehead Foundation, the $250,000 grant will support the research of Dr. Sarah Tasian, MD of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Dr. Kimberly Stegmaier, MD of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Through their collaborative research efforts, Dr. Tasian and Dr. Stegmaier will study CAR-T cell therapy as it applies to two patient groups that are highly susceptible to relapse — childhood Down Syndrome-associated ALL and Ph-like ALL. Specifically, the research will seek to test the effectiveness of using and training CAR-T cells to target two or more neoantigens, or genetic mutations, found on the patient’s cancer cells.

The hope is that this research can help lead to an increase in long-lasting remissions for these high-risk pediatric cancer populations.

In a press release shared by Stand Up to Cancer and the American Association for Cancer Research, Tom Whitehead is quoted saying, “We are pleased to continue our collaboration with SU2C and fund these extraordinary teams focused on pediatric cancer immunotherapy treatments. We know collaborative research is essential to lead to successful, less toxic treatments that will give more kids the chance to not only survive their cancer but thrive, healthy and happy.”

This is the second contribution EWF has granted through SU2C’s Sharp Awards. In 2018, the Emily Whitehead Foundation contributed $125,000 toward a $250,000 grant that supported the research collaboration of Toronto scientist Dr. Trevor Pugh and CHOP pediatric oncologist Dr. David Barrett.

We are incredibly thankful for the generosity of our donors and supporters alike who have made it possible for us to fund such innovative research projects — and thank you especially to Stand Up To Cancer for sharing our mission to activate the cure for all children with cancer!