St. Baldrick’s Foundation Announces Funding of a St. Baldrick’s Scholar and Fellow at UCLA

St. Baldrick’s Foundation Announces Funding of a St. Baldrick’s Scholar and Fellow at UCLA


Local grants are part of more than $12.8 million awarded for pediatric oncology research in 2010

LOS ANGELES (August 18, 2010) – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, awarded $330,000 to Satiro De Oliveira, M.D., as a St.
Baldrick’s Scholar and $138,391 to Ilanit Brook, M.D., for a two-year
pediatric oncology fellowship. Both are scientists at Mattel Children’s
Hospital UCLA.


The St. Baldrick’s Foundation currently funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. St. Baldrick’s head-shaving events are the fastest growing
volunteer-driven fundraising opportunity benefitting childhood cancer
research. The Foundation’s volunteer event organizers have led the way
to raising more than $21 million this year and approximately $90 million
since 2000, making the funding of institutions like Mattel Children’s
Hospital UCLA possible.


With only three percent of all federal cancer research funding dedicated to pediatric cancer research, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation grant funds are critical to continue the battle against this devastating
disease. Worldwide, more than 160,000 children are diagnosed with
cancer each year, and cancer is the leading cause of death by disease
among children in the U.S.


Dr. De Oliveira is one of nine new researchers to be funded as a St. Baldrick’s Scholar. His research focuses on new therapeutic approaches that are needed for pediatric leukemia and lymphoma, because patients
with refractory or relapsed disease still have a survival rate of less
than 50 percent with current therapies. This research involves a novel
cancer immunotherapy protocol, transferring a gene into the patient’s
blood stem cells, helping immune cells to directly and specifically
target a surface molecule that is present in more than 95 percent of
leukemias and lymphomas. Dr. De Oliveira will evaluate the cancer cell
destruction by the modified immune cells, setting a basis for future
clinical trials.


Dr. Brook is one of 11 new St. Baldrick’s Fellows, and overseeing her research is mentor Lonnie Zeltzer, M.D. The focus of Dr. Brook’s research is on the level of chronic stress felt by the parents of
children diagnosed with cancer and the factors involved. With every new
pediatric cancer diagnosis, a family is given the most unexpected and
stressful news of their lives. This kind of stress makes people more
susceptible to post-traumatic stress and depression and also diminishes
the immune system, allowing the body to become sick more often. The
researchers at UCLA believe it is vital to work to improve the outcomes
for both patients and their families.

“We truly appreciate the generous support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation,” said Dr. Kathy Sakamoto, chief of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. “Their commitment to
supporting cancer research and finding improved treatments continues to
make a significant difference in the lives of so many children.”


In 2010, there were more than 40 St. Baldrick’s events held in California. More than 2,700 people braved a shave at these events to help Conquer Kids’ Cancer, raising more than $1.3 million.

“We always look forward to being a part of the LAPD/LAFD event, and the grants are really exciting,” said Maggie Compton, volunteer for the LAPD/LAFD Panorama City event. “It’s highly satisfying after all the
work that we do in March - putting the event together and raising the
funds - to see the money support vital research at Mattel Children’s
Hospital UCLA.”


Everyone can do their part to support St. Baldrick’s. To locate or organize an event in your community, sign-up to shave, donate or volunteer, visit www.StBaldricks.org. You can also become a fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and visit the St. Baldrick’s YouTube and Vimeo channels.


Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA
One of the highest-rated children’s hospitals in California, Mattel Children’s Hospital is a vital component of the Ronald Reagan UCLA
Medical Center, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the fifth best
hospital in the nation and best in the Western United States. Mattel
Children’s Hospital offers a full spectrum of primary and specialized
medical care for infants, children and adolescents. The hospital’s
mission is to provide state-of-the-art treatment for children in a
compassionate atmosphere, as well as to improve the understanding and
treatment of pediatric diseases.


About The St. Baldrick’s Foundation
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation makes grants to research institutions to find new cures for childhood cancer, and to find treatments to ensure a
better quality of life for patients and survivors. The Foundation funds
research projects conducted by established pediatric cancer experts, as
well as younger professionals who will be the experts of tomorrow. Funds
also enable hundreds of local institutions to participate in national
pediatric cancer clinical trials, offering the best available care for
every child. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is grateful to its many
volunteers (bald or not!), donors and sponsors, including Allied World,
Barbicide, Dowling & Partners, elope, Markit, and PartnerRe. For
more information about St. Baldrick’s, please call 1-888-899-BALD or
visit www.StBaldricks.org.

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