One of the most-read Texas cancer research stories on BioNews Texas in 2013 reported on the outcry from Pediatric cancer researchers in Texas, who decried the lack of funding and attention given to curing childhood diseases, such as Pediatric brain cancer. Thanks to a recently announced grant, however, the effort in Texas to develop new treatments for childhood brain cancers will start the year with fresh funding and support.
The new series of grants have been awarded through the Carson Leslie Awards for Pediatric Brain Cancers, a partnership between The Carson Leslie Foundation (CLF) and The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), with a total of $3.2 million in funding going to The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and the Texas Tech University Health Science Center.
UT Southwestern plans to use its funding to further research genotype and metabolic phenotype in pediatric brain cancer. BCM will focus its research efforts on pro to Beam radiation therapy versus conventional beam radiation therapy toxicities during and after craniospinal radiation therapy in children, while Texas Tech will research rational redox-driven non-toxic therapeutic strategies for pediatric brain cancers
Annette Leslie, the Executive Director of The Carson Leslie Foundation, lauds the recent effort to reinstate CPRIT as the primary motivating factor for making this new round of battling Pediatric brain cancer a reality. Having served on CPRIT’s Advisory Council on Childhood Cancer since 2010, she recently explained in a press releases that, thanks to the lifting of the funding moratorium by Governor Perry, Lt. Governor Dewhurst, and Speaker Straus on the grant award process in late 2013, this new funding initiative demonstrates the unparalleled work that CPRIT can do, particularly when partnered with an organization such as The Carson Leslie Foundation.
The driving force behind Ms. Leslie’s founding of The Carson Leslie Foundation is an ongoing fulfillment of her son Carson’s dying wish when he exhorted his mother to do what she could to help researchers find treatments and cures for childhood cancers, saying to her, “Momma, make sure they study those tumors, if those tumors can help some kid not die from cancer like I am, I’d like that; it’s hard to have cancer.”
Specifically, Ms. Leslie’s recent efforts to fulfill Carson’s dying wish focus funding to research that will lead to the development of less toxic cancer treatment for children who are undergoing harsh chemotherapy and radiation for brain and other deadly childhood cancers. Even for those with childhood cancer who survive the disease, they often face serious medical complications from the effects that the treatments themselves have on their growing, fragile bodies, such as secondary cancers, cognitive impairments and shortened lifespans. Researchers and Ms. Leslie believe that the less toxic a childhood cancer treatment is, the better chance they have to live healthy lives. Considering that cancer is now the number one disease killer of children in America, and that most treatments for childhood cancers are more than twenty years old, funding from The Carson Leslie Foundation (CLF) and The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to develop new treatments cannot come soon enough.
The Carson Leslie Foundation offers several ways to donate to their cause. Click on the ad below for more information: