Philanthropic organizations fund for cancer research studies

Eight philanthropic organizations and families in the Charlotte region have joined forces to create the "Carolinas Kids Cancer Research Coalition," which is providing funding for the introduction of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials by the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Center at Levine Children's Hospital (LCH).

The coalition support includes a signature commitment of $1 million from the Alex Hemby Foundation and the Hemby family, resulting in the naming of the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Center in honor of Torrence E. Hemby, Jr. and the creation of an endowed fund in his honor.  Consistent with other commitments from Coalition members, the Hemby gift is being matched by The Leon Levine Foundation, for a total funding of $5.7 million.

Founding members of the Coalition are The Leon Levine Foundation, The Alex Hemby Foundation, The Adam Faulk Tanksley Foundation, The Baby J Ladley Fund, Quail Hollow Championship, drumSTRONG™, 24 Hours of Booty, and Brett's Ride for Rhabdo.

The funding will be used to expand staff, diagnostic and treatment equipment, and support services for the clinical trials, which are conducted to test the safety, effectiveness and best approaches for the use of new drugs and other inventions.  Phase I clinical trials are the first step in testing new treatment approaches in people, enrolling a small number of patients. Phase II trials enroll a larger group of patients and focus on the effectiveness of specific agents or interventions.

As one of the fastest growing programs at LCH, the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Center treats patients with leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, brain tumors, kidney cancer, and bone and soft tissue tumors.  In addition, the Center offers neuro-oncology services and blood and marrow transplantation.  With the continuing expansion of its medical staff, the Center now includes eight board-certified physicians with in-depth knowledge of the full range of childhood cancers, offering extensive surgical, chemotherapy and radiologic procedures.

The Center's pediatric patients also have access to a broad range of clinical research studies, including National Cancer Institute protocols for therapies under development.  The Center has participated in more than 60 clinical trials through the internationally recognized Children's Oncology Group, a collaborative initiative including patients, researchers and hospitals throughout the world.

More recently, the Center has joined the Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma (TACL), and the Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC), consortia dedicated to fighting childhood cancer. Affiliation will give children in the Carolinas access to novel drugs which were previously not available in the area.


Carolinas HealthCare System


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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