CHOP Researchers Land St. Baldrick’s Awards

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation recently announced more than $650,000 in grants to one consortium and three cancer researchers at Children’s Hospital. The foundation made awards to the Testicular Cryopreservation Consortium and to investigators Shannon Maude, MD, PhD, Michael Hogarty, MD, and Vandana Batra, MD.

Known for its head-shaving events — where volunteers have their heads shaved in solidarity with children fighting cancer — the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has distributed more than $100 million in research grants to support childhood cancer research since 2005. The recently announced grants to CHOP are among 63 grants totaling $22 million to be announced during the summer of 2013.

The award to the Testicular Cryopreservation Consortium will support efforts to allow boys being treated for cancer to freeze testicular tissue to preserve their fertility for the future. “We are so grateful that St. Baldrick’s has awarded us another year of funding,” said Jill Ginsberg, MD, director of the Hospital’s Cancer Survivorship Program. “We are hopeful that advances in the laboratory will make it possible for these boys to achieve fertility when they are ready to start a family. This work could not have been accomplished without the support of St. Baldrick’s Foundation.”

The award to Dr. Maude, a St. Baldrick’s Scholar award given over three years, will support her work on acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood leukemia. Dr. Michael Hogarty, meanwhile, was awarded a St. Baldrick’s Research Grant to support his neuroblastoma research.

Dr. Hogarty — who also recently received an award from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation — has been studying the epigenetics of neuroblastoma, supported in part with earlier funding from St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

And last but certainly not least, Dr. Batra, an attending physician in CHOP’s Cancer Center, was awarded $134,186 to fund an additional year of her neuroblastoma investigation. Dr. Batra has been leading a study of the drug 211At-MABG, to treat neuroblastoma more effectively and with fewer side effects.