Published on in CHOP News
October 25, 2011 — Soupy for Loopy Foundation donated $50,000 to the Cancer Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to fund research in neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer of the nervous system.
The $50,000 gift will support two research projects aimed at developing more effective radiation treatments to kill neuroblastoma cells. The treatments, abbreviated as I-MIBG and MABG, selectively attack neuroblastoma tumors while minimizing injury to healthy tissues. Both projects take advantage of the fact that radiation therapy is known to effectively attack neuroblastoma cells, even when the disease recurs after a patient relapses.
- One such treatment, already in use at Children’s Hospital because it has shown success against high-risk forms of neuroblastoma, uses 131I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine, abbreviated as 131I-MIBG, to deliver radiation to tumors. The researchers will improve MIBG therapy by discovering how to customize the optimum radiation dose for each individual child.
- The second project focuses on creating a new drug for neuroblastoma to eventually supplant I-MIBG. The new treatment, meta-[211At]astatobenzylguanidine (211At-MABG), contains radioactive particles carrying a stronger punch than those in MIBG. Its advantage is that in addition to attacking bulk tumor masses as I-MIBG does, it can also kill isolated tumor cells.
“Physician-scientists within the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are fully committed to establishing better treatments to ultimately eradicate the pain and suffering from childhood cancer. We are motivated each day by the children we treat, and are working toward the day when all children with cancer are cured,” said John M. Maris, MD, chief of the Division of Oncology, and director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “We are truly grateful to Soupy for Loopy for supporting our neuroblastoma research efforts."
Dr. John Maris, chief of the Division of Oncology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia accepts a $50,000 gift from the Soupy for Loopy Foundation to support neuroblastoma research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Pictured here are (from left): Mark Sypek, Laura’s dad; Debra Sypek, Laura’s mom; and Janice Visconti, Soupy for Loopy Foundation; John Maris, MD; Sandra Kosko; Dr. Lisa Diller, medical advisor; and Richard Kosko, Soupy for Loopy Foundation.
About the Soupy for Loopy Foundation
Soupy for Loopy Foundation, an all-volunteer 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2007 in memory of Laura Sypek who was affectionately called “Loopy” by her family. Diagnosed at age 2 with neuroblastoma, Laura loved to eat her mom’s tomato and macaroni soup, even during difficult chemotherapy treatments when most children have no appetite. Laura called it Soupy for Loopy and the name stuck. After battling cancer for most of her life, Laura died in 2006 at age 11. Soupy for Loopy Foundation is dedicated to raising funds to support doctors and hospitals working to advance neuroblastoma research. Funds raised from general donations, fundraising events and event sponsorships make grants like this possible.
“Laura had each and every clinical trial that she was eligible for but we ran out of options. NO parent should ever hear those words, ‘there is nothing left to try,’” said Debra Sypek, Laura’s mom, officer and board member of the Soupy for Loopy Foundation. “The Soupy for Loopy Foundation was established to fund research that will lead to clinical trials and more treatment options for children with neuroblastoma. There is not enough funding for pediatric cancer in general, let alone neuroblastoma.”
Neuroblastoma, a cancer of the peripheral nervous system, usually appears as a solid tumor in the chest or abdomen. It accounts for 7 percent of all childhood cancers, but because it is often aggressive, it causes 15 percent of all childhood cancer deaths. To learn more about Laura Sypek, the Soupy for Loopy story or the Foundation, visit the website at www.soupyforloopy.org. SOUPY FOR LOOPY is a registered servicemark of Soupy for Loopy Foundation, Inc.