COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER GRANTS $1.15M TO ADVANCE PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH
Funds also Support Children’s Oncology Group Phase 1 Clinical Trial Costs
CALIFON, NJ – Nov. 8, 2012 – Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national not-for-profit organization, announces 2012 grants totaling $1.15 million to advance research for pediatric cancer, the number one disease killer of children under the age of 18 in the U.S. A portion of the funds will also be used to match Federal Government dollars allocated per child to cover Children’s Oncology Group Phase 1 trial costs.
“Most people are not aware of how little funding is directed towards pediatric cancer research,” stated Gretchen Witt, founder of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. “The assumption is that we as a nation would be doing everything we can to battle the disease that takes the lives of more children than any other. The reality of the situation couldn’t be further from the truth. Today there are still some types of childhood cancers that see more children losing their battle than winning and those who win pay a tremendous cost of long-term side effects from toxic treatments. But science can’t move forward without one critical element: Funding. As one of my son’s doctors said to me, it’s not necessarily science that’s holding us back but funding for research.”
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s Medical Advisory Board, which is comprised of top researchers in the field of pediatric cancer, are from five partner centers around the country that are dedicated to the discovery of new and improved treatments for children with cancer. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is proud to award grants to each of these five partner centers, which include Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s support will help important research initiatives move forward. Time is of the essence in the development of novel therapies for childhood cancer and these grants will help important clinical research initiatives for childhood cancer expeditiously move forward,” stated Susan M. Blaney, MD, Vice Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group and Deputy Director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers.
According to the National Cancer Institute, 60 percent of children under the age of 15 are treated for cancer in clinical trials, compared to about 2 percent of patients 20 to 39 years old. Participation of more children in clinical trials will help improve treatment, survival, and understanding of the types of cancers that occur in patients in this age group.
To ensure that an even greater number of children with pediatric cancer receive the care needed, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has also announced their support of the Children’s Oncology Group’s Phase 1 & Pilot Consortium. Comprised of 21 premier pediatric oncology programs throughout the country, the Consortium serves as an international model for new agent development in pediatric oncology. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer will match dollar for dollar the allowance per child enrolled to the Children’s Oncology Group’s Phase 1 & Pilot Consortium with a goal of expanding the Phase 1 trials available in the nation and giving more children treatment options in their fight against pediatric cancer.
Dr. Peter Adamson, chair of the Children’s Oncology Group explains, “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s support of the Children’s Oncology Group Phase 1 Consortium will help us accelerate our efforts to develop important new treatments for children with cancer. We greatly appreciate the generosity of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, and of all those who have made this possible.”
The funds granted by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer were made possible through the support of thousands of volunteers, donors, bake sales and other event hosts and corporate sponsors, including Glad, OXO, Uline, Bank of America, and King Arthur Flour. Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has awarded nearly $4 million in grants to further their mission of supporting promising pediatric cancer research.
“With only 2% of the entire budget from the National Institutes of Health going to pediatric cancer research, funding for research is desperately needed. When we learned that our support of the COG Phase 1 Clinical trials could make a marked difference, we moved quickly to support the need,” says Larry Witt, President of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. “Our foundation and loyal supporters are now matching federal funds directed to COG phase 1 clinical studies at key centers across the country. Our support dramatically lessens the financial burden on the centers themselves who often need to raise funds to cover upwards of 80% of the cost of each trial they offer. Our support will also make it possible to increase the number of trials available, trial locations, as well as the number of patient slots open at any given time. Factors that should lead to accelerated study results and in turn to improved lifesaving therapy options for all kids fighting all types of pediatric cancer.”
ABOUT COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a recognized 501(c)3,was founded in 2008 by Gretchen and Larry Witt, who were inspired by their young son Liam’s courageous battle against pediatric cancer. Through the concept of local bake sales and online cookie sales, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer inspires individuals, organizations, and businesses to join in the fight against pediatric cancer by raising the funds and awareness necessary to provide more families with the hope they deserve. Thousands of bake sales and other events, raising millions of dollars, have been held in all 50 states, as well as 13 countries including Puerto Rico, Canada and the U.K. – making Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s mission of funding pediatric cancer research possible. Tragically, Liam Witt lost his four-year battle but he and all children fighting childhood cancer continues to be the organizations’ inspiration. For more information about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer visit www.cookiesforkidscancer.org, and follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cookiesforkidscancer and on Twitter @cookies4kids.