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Curing Kids Cancer awards $100,000 to Dr. Stephan Grupp of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA – MARCH 31 – On March 30 Curing Kids Cancer presented a $100,000 check to Dr. Stephan Grupp of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to continue research in using genetically modified T-cells to treat pediatric cancer patients with B cell cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The experimental treatment takes T-cells, a type of immune cell, from a patient with certain types of ALL. Those T-cells are then engineered to recognize and kill the leukemia cell. The altered cells are then infused back into the patient.

Grainne Owen, founder of Curing Kids Cancer, presents a $100,000 check to Dr. Stephan Grupp, director of translational research, Center for Childhood Cancer Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, for CAR T-cell research.

“Finding cures for childhood cancers require funding the work of doctors like Dr. Stephan Grupp who are improving treatment options for children with cancer by offering alternative therapies that are less toxic than today’s standard of care,” said Grainne Owen, founder of Curing Kids Cancer. “We are excited about Dr. Grupp’s initial results that show CAR T-cell treatments could be a powerful therapy for patients with B cell cancers.”

“We greatly appreciate the research support from Curing Kids Cancer for our CAR T-cell work,” said Dr. Stephan Grupp, director of translational research, Center for Childhood Cancer Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “This will allow us to continue our clinical trial using T-cell therapy to bring prolonged remissions to ALL pediatric patients with no options left after standard treatments fail.”

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recently completed a study of 39 pediatric ALL patients. According to Grupp, 92 percent of the children went into complete remission at one month after T-cell infusion. Patients who went into remission had a 70 percent chance of staying in remission at six months.

 The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia award was a part of $1 million in grants that Curing Kids Cancer awarded in 2015 to fund innovative programs and groundbreaking childhood cancer research to save children’s lives. The nonprofit also announced that it has raised more than $6 million since its inception in 2005.

 About Curing Kids Cancer

Nine-year-old Killian Owen, who lost his hard-fought battle with leukemia in July 2003, was the inspiration for Curing Kids Cancer. His parents, Clay and Grainne Owen, founded Curing Kids Cancer in Killian’s memory to raise money for cutting-edge pediatric cancer research, and to make the newest, most innovative treatments available to children who need them.

 Working to make childhood cancer curable in our lifetime, Curing Kids Cancer funds innovative treatments and targeted therapies with fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy. Curing Kids Cancer raises money through partnerships with sports teams at local and national levels, corporate sponsorships such as AT&T and CFO4Life, community involvement, and support from national sports figures including Lee Corso and Craig Kimbrel, and the powerhouse Mecum Auction Company, the world leader of collector car, motorcycle and road art sales.

 About Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

About the Cancer Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has one of the largest pediatric cancer programs in the United States, which has been top ranked by U.S.News & World Report and Parents Magazine. Its large basic and clinical research programs are particularly strong in pediatric neuro-oncology, neuroblastoma, leukemia and lymphoma, and sarcomas. Of all pediatric institutions, Children's Hospital enrolls the most patients in national clinical trials, working in close collaboration with national organizations such as the Children's Oncology Group. Physicians at Children's Hospital have had pioneering roles in developing international standards for diagnosing and treating neuroblastoma, and in developing programs for survivors of childhood cancer.