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Curing Kids Cancer awards $100,000 to Dr. Andrew Lane of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Curing Kids Cancer (CKC) presented a $100,000 check to Dr. Andrew Lane of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to continue research into why children with Down syndrome have a heightened risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on Tuesday, March 31. Lane has tracked the genetic chain of events that links a chromosomal abnormality in Down syndrome to the cellular havoc that occurs in ALL.

Grainne Owen, founder of Curing Kids Cancer, presents $100,000 check to Dr. Andrew Lane of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“Finding cures for childhood cancers requires funding the work of doctors like Dr. Andrew Lane who are breaking new ground in pediatric cancer research and treatment,” said Grainne Owen, founder of Curing Kids Cancer. “We are excited about Dr. Lane’s discovery of the connection between Down Syndrome and ALL. His findings are relevant not only to children with Down syndrome but also to many other children who develop ALL.”

“For 80 years, it hasn’t been clear why children with Down syndrome face a sharply elevated risk of ALL,” said Dr. Andrew Lane of Dana-Farber’s Division of Hematologic Neoplasia. “Advances in technology – which make it possible to study blood cells and leukemias that model Down syndrome in the laboratory – have enabled us to make that link.”

Children with Down syndrome have a risk of ALL that is over 20 times that of the general population. The syndrome occurs in children who have an extra copy of a single chromosome, known as chromosome 21. The addition may involve the entire chromosome or a portion of it.

The Dana-Farber award was a part of $1 million in grants that CKC 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.

Nine-year-old Killian Owen, who lost his hard-fought battle with leukemia in July 2003, was the inspiration to CKC. 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, CKC funds innovative treatments and targeted therapies with fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy. CKC 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.