Every research breakthrough begins with a scientist’s idea. But without funding and support, those ideas would never get off the ground, and new discoveries would never be made.
Thankfully, because of community support of the Courage of Carly Fund, innovative research ideas at Roswell Park have the chance to flourish. Each year, donations fund the most promising research initiatives, chosen by the Scientific Advisory Committee, giving scientists the fuel they need to jump-start their projects and take the first steps toward the next big breakthrough.
Below, the pediatric award recipients explain what they hope to achieve with donor dollars.
“We will develop a new psychosocial support program for adolescents and young adults with cancer using social media. We will study whether the program can overcome barriers to engage these patients, who are at significantly higher risk for depression, anxiety and adjustment disorders than other cancer patients, but who underutilize traditional forms of support, like therapy and support groups.”
– Lynda Beaupin, MD, Department of Pediatrics, and Megan Pailler, PhD, Department of Psychosocial Oncology
“Although survival rates have increased dramatically for children with pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia, certain patients continue to suffer from reduced survival rates, likely because they don’t take oral treatments as instructed. As part of this project, we will investigate what circumstances lead to this problem, so that long term, we can fix it and increase survival rates.”
– Kara Kelly, MD, Department of Pediatrics, and Elizabeth Gage Bouchard, PhD, Department of Cancer Prevention and Control
“In a trial of treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, it was found that, compared with children of European ancestry, Hispanic children have lower rates of therapy-related bone tissue death and fracture but higher rates of relapse and a greater number of complications. In this study we hope to determine whether genetic ancestry could be responsible for these disparities and will also perform a genome-wide analysis to pinpoint the genetic determinants of treatment-related toxicities and outcomes, ultimately enabling us to develop a larger grant to evaluate potential clinical applications.”
– Song Yao, PhD, Department of Cancer Prevention and Control
“Pediatric patients with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (aRMS) — an aggressive soft-tissue malignancy of the skeletal muscle — have a five-year survival rate of less than 50 percent. The tumors of this disease express a high level of oncoprotein that promotes tumor cell growth, migration and metastasis. This SAC funding enables us to explore the ability of a potential therapeutic agent to negate the biological actions of this oncoprotein that may offer new opportunity for therapeutic intervention in aRMS.”
– Asoke Mal, PhD, Department of Cell Stress Biology