Sunday, September 18, 2011

Working To Cure Childhood Cancer

The  more than 40,000 children, adolescents and young adults who are currently undergoing treatment for pediatric cancer, as well as in the 36 children who are newly diagnosed each day, are the focus for September's National Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

Across the U.S. volunteers are seeking to raise funds thru marches, lemonade stands, quilt sales, dinners, auctions and more to fund childhood cancer research.

CureSearch, one of the active participants,  raises funds for collaborative research conducted at more than 175 hospitals across the nation. "These hospitals participate in National Cancer Institute sponsored clinical trials conducted by the Children's Oncology Group. In the last 40 years, collaborative research has increased the overall survival rate for children’s cancer from 10% to 78%. At CureSearch, our goal is 100%," notes the Cure Search website.

It continutes, "In the last year, Children's Oncology Group researchers demonstrated the success of a new treatment for patients with Philadelphia Chromosome Positive ALL (Ph+ALL), a subtype of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Until recently, the preferred treatment for Ph+ ALL was to perform a stem cell transplant after the patient had received 3-6 months of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, even with this aggressive therapy, cure rates were less than 50 percent and some of the children treated with stem cell transplant experienced serious long-term effects. The new research demonstrated that using chemotherapy combined with a new drug called Imatinib doubles cure rates. Based on these findings, stem cell transplant is no longer automatically considered to be the best way to treat children with Ph+ ALL."

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