Childhood Cancer Research Grant Awarded to UCSD Pediatrics

Part of More than $22 million Awarded in New Grants by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation

SAN DIEGO (August 1, 2013) – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven and donor-centered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, is proud to grant a $123,149 St. Baldrick’s Fellow award, for a period of two years, to Sun Choo, MD,  pediatric fellow at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.

Dr. Choo’s research focuses on Ewing sarcoma, a bone and soft tissue cancer that occurs in adolescents and young adults. When the cancer spreads, survival rates can fall below 30 percent despite aggressive chemotherapy and surgery. Fortunately, promising data has identified certain genes that are specifically turned on in metastatic Ewing cells. By developing targeted therapy against these gene products, Dr. Choo hopes to effectively treat Ewing sarcoma. In addition, targeting this unique pathway may reduce the use of conventional toxic chemotherapy agents that can cause cancer themselves.

“Pediatric sarcomas continue to be a challenging disease to treat,” Dr. Choo explains. “However, it is difficult cases where change is most needed. Promising data with new drugs have already shown a decrease in recurrence and spread of sarcomas in adult patients. My research works to make those same changes in pediatric sarcomas. By using new targeted therapies against pediatric sarcomas, we can decrease side effects and increase survival.”

Through the vigorous efforts of volunteers and supporters in the U.S. and around the world, the Foundation is not only honored to award this local grant, but will fund a total of more than $22 million in its 2013 summer grant cycle.

“These grants are one step toward filling the critical gap that exists between the research dollars spent per child with cancer and those spent per adult,” says Kathleen Ruddy, chief executive officer of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “When one considers the total landscape of available funding from government, industry and philanthropy, it is apparent children are being left behind. Great progress has been made in treatments for many types of cancers that plague adults, but the same level of progress has been made in only a few forms of cancer in children. That needs to change.”

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $125 million to support lifesaving research, making the Foundation the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants. St. Baldrick’s funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world and to younger professionals who will be the experts of tomorrow. Funds awarded also enable hundreds of local institutions to participate in national pediatric cancer clinical trials. For more information about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation please call 1.888.899.BALD or visit www.StBaldricks.org.

Media Contact:
Jayme Owen
919-334-3779
jayme.owen@fleishman.com 

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