September 3, 2013
Contact: Rachel Salis-Silverman, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-6063, Salis@email.chop.edu
This September, the Cancer Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia kicks off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in partnership with childhood cancer patients and survivors, their families and the larger community. Throughout September, the Cancer Center at CHOP has created ways to help raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research, including advocacy, fundraising events and an advertising and social media campaign through Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.
The Cancer Center at CHOP invites the community to help make a difference by registering for the Four Seasons Parkway Run/Walk, sharing an infographic about childhood cancer, and advocating for childhood cancer research. These action steps will help increase funding for pediatric cancer research and support development of new treatments. The goal is for the next generation of children diagnosed with cancer to have an increased chance of surviving their disease, with a decrease in the long-term side effects of treatment.
Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15. Although significant progress has been made in the last 50 years, 20 percent of children diagnosed with cancer still die from their disease. In addition, many childhood cancer survivors face life-long side effects impacting their heart, growth and fertility. Children diagnosed with cancer today are often treated with drugs developed more than 30 years ago, which may cure their cancer but also may harm developing, healthy cells.
To develop cures for aggressive childhood cancers, pediatric cancer research needs additional funding. In these challenging economic times, funding allocations from the National Institute of Health (NIH), the research arm of the federal government, is shrinking. Scientists must rely on philanthropy from companies, organizations and individuals to bridge the gap so that today’s discoveries can be translated quickly into a treatment for patients.
Patient Emma and her family know this too well. Treated at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for relapsed leukemia, 7-year-old Emma received a new T Cell Therapy treatment to target her leukemia cells, which kept returning after traditional chemotherapy. For Emma and the many children like her, treatment advances have the ability to offer new hope, but only if funding is available to support the research.
The Cancer Center at CHOP encourages individuals to help Emma and thousands of other children impacted by cancer by:
Future funding will enable physician-scientists to find more targeted, less harmful treatments that cure childhood cancers. Help make a difference during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: www.chop.edu/cancer.