Please note that some translations using Google Translate may not be accurately represented and downloaded documents cannot be translated. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund assume no liability for inaccuracies that may result from using this third-party tool, which is for website translation.
Please note that some translations using Google Translate may not be accurately represented and downloaded documents cannot be translated. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund assume no liability for inaccuracies that may result from using this third-party tool, which is for website translation.

Rallying to defy pediatric cancers

Rally Foundation

Spring 2024
By Jane Anderson

Bolstering Dana-Farber’s mission to defy cancer, Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research made grants totaling $850,000 in 2023 to help drive much-needed progress in pediatric oncology research.

Rally’s grants span many forms of cancer. In T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Birgit Knoechel, MD, PhD, is investigating how leukemic cells interact with the immune system, how chemotherapy affects the immune system’s capacity to fight cancer, and how the immune system affects outcomes. Kimberly Stegmaier, MD, is expanding her preclinical studies to evaluate the effectiveness of potential new targeted drugs in pediatric leukemia.

In neuroblastoma, Nina Weichert-Leahey, MD, studies how the efficacy of retinoic acid, a current treatment for the disease, can be enhanced by the addition of PF-9363—an inhibitor of the KAT6 enzyme—and how this combination treatment stops cancer growth. In germ cell tumors, which span children, adolescents, and young adults, Lindsay Frazier, MD, and collaborators are working to genomically profile tumors across a range of patient backgrounds to better understand the different causes of the disease and how to best tailor treatments.

Riaz Gillani, MD, is studying the germline genetics and tumor genomics of Ewing sarcoma with the goal of better understanding risk and improving treatment for this aggressive cancer in pediatric and adolescent patients. In a form of kidney cancer called tRCC, Srinivas Viswanathan, MD, PhD, aims to learn how TFE3 fusions drive cancer and find drugs to counteract them.

As philanthropic seed investors in the next great discovery, the Rally Medical Advisory Board continues to be impressed with the innovative grant proposals submitted by Dana-Faber researchers. Each grant is chosen by a rigorous dual peer-review process. Rally hopes these projects will bring us closer to better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, a cure.

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