ALSF Introduces Centers Of Excellence Program, Awards $1.75 Million To Three Institutions To Further Childhood Cancer Research

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Foundation provides funding for leading childhood cancer institutions committed to developing clinical trials for kids fighting cancer  

PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 2013) – Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is furthering its commitment to finding cures for all kids with cancer by introducing the ALSF Centers of Excellence program (COE). The COE program aims to fund the research of leading childhood cancer institutions committed to developing and conducting early phase clinical trials. The first institutions that will receive the funding of $350,000 per year, renewable annually for up to five years for a total of $1.75 million, are Baylor College of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the University of California San Francisco.

The Centers of Excellence program will join an already extensive grants program dedicated to finding better treatments and ultimately cures for all kids with cancer. The purpose of the program is threefold: to facilitate the evolution of new therapeutic concepts from the pre-clinical arena into fully developed clinical trials, to rapidly and efficiently conduct phase I and phase II trials of highly innovative therapies and to train individuals in the field of developmental therapeutics and cancer pharmacology.

Unlike all of the other ALSF grant programs, the Centers for Excellence applicants were chosen by the Foundation and invited to apply for funding. Those chosen will utilize half of the funds to enhance clinical trial infrastructure and half to support the training of scholars in drug development allowing the clinical trial program to grow in the field of pediatric oncology.

“Since inception with our daughter’s front yard lemonade stand, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has always been dedicated to moving childhood cancer research forward,” said Jay Scott, Alex’s Dad and Co-Executive Director of the Foundation. “Whether it was through motivating promising young researchers to join the field of oncology, or filling the gaps where funding was missing, the Foundation has continued to evolve and will now work toward backing the next generation of leaders in the pediatric cancer field.”

"The ALSF Centers of Excellence Award will be transformational., “ said Stacey Berg, M.D., of Baylor College of Medicine. “Not only will the award aid immeasurably in increasing the number and quality of Phase I and 2 studies available for children with refractory cancer now, but equally importantly, they will help children in the future by training the next generation of leaders in developmental therapeutics."

At each institution where funding is being given, a Principal Investigator will be charged with overseeing the program. In addition to Berg at Baylor College of Medicine, Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, M.D. will oversee the program at Dana-Farber, while Katherine Matthay, M.D. leads at the University of California San Francisco.

About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Grants:

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). With the vision of finding a cure for all childhood cancers, Alex set out to hold lemonade stands to raise funds to do just that. A decade later, the Foundation bearing her name funds both medical and nursing research which aims to not only find better treatments and cures for all childhood cancers, but to improve the quality of care and life for children and their families fighting the disease now. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $60 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 250 research projects nationally including those examining leukemia, brain tumors, neuroblastoma, Wilm's tumor, lymphoma, and osteosarcoma, among others.