Two Research Grants Funded at University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital.
TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation was able to fund $200,000 in research grants to two researchers at the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital because of the support and generosity of wonderful donors. The two researchers that received funding for this year are.
Dr. Ernesto Diaz-Flores was awarded a research grant of $100,000 to investigate an aggressive type of pediatric ALL, which is resistant to conventional treatment with chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. This type of ALL, known as hypodiploid B-ALL, is known to have a specific pattern of tumor protein expression. Dr. Diaz-Flores has hypothesized that targeting this altered protein in leukemia with a new protein inhibitor will reduce the cell turnover and growth, therapy disrupting the tumor progression. This drug has been promising in other leukemia types and is very likely to show success in hypodiploid ALL as well.
Dr. Mignon Loh was awarded a research grant of $100,000 to oversee the research of JMML, juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, an aggressive type of leukemia that affects babies and toddlers. Standard treatment consists of chemotherapy and stem cell transplant, which can have serious short-term and long-term effects in these young children. Dr. Loh has studied the tumor characteristics of JMML for years, and based on this she has created a risk-stratification for JMML that will provide optimal therapy for JMML patients, for which low-risk patients will have less toxic therapy by receiving 2 targeted immunotherapy drugs only, and high-risk patients receive 2 targeted immunotherapy agents, chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. This type of plan for JMML may revolutionize the treatment for these young patients, while minimizing their side effects.
We are honored to support Dr. Loh and Dr. Diaz-Flores and the important research that they are overseeing for childhood cancer research. Recently, TeamConnor donors and volunteers from the San Francisco Northwestern Mutual office participated in an outdoor big check presentation with Dr. Loh and Dr. Diaz-Flores. The corporate philanthropic platform for Northwestern Mutual is childhood cancer. TeamConnor is honored to have the support and generosity from employees of Northwestern Mutual who give generously of their time, talent and treasure.