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November 28, 2016
Kathleen Paice Froio, paicek@upstate.edu

Upstate receives $59,000 from St. Baldrick’s Foundation for childhood cancer research

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Upstate Medical University has been awarded a one-year, $59,607 grant from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to benefit the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. The grant is one of 39 infrastructure grants awarded as part of the foundation’s fall grant cycle, totaling more than $2.1 million.

The Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders provides oncology care to the children, adolescents, and young adults of through central New York and beyond. By being active members in the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), Upstate is able to offer patients state-of-the-art clinical trials.

“With limited and decreasing funding by the federal government and by pharmaceutical companies for pediatric cancer clinical trials, we rely more and more on private financial support,” said Melanie Comito, MD, chief of pediatric hematology/oncology at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, professor of pediatrics at Upstate Medical University, and principal investigator on the grant. “The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is an invaluable resource to the Upstate community for our clinical research efforts to help us with our goals of curing more children with cancer through state of the art care.”

Grants were awarded based on the need of the institution and its patients, anticipated results of the grant and local participation in St. Baldrick’s fundraising events and activities.

“The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is thrilled to fund this latest round of grants, which provides pediatric cancer treatment teams across the U.S. with the critical support they need to find cures and better treatments,” said St Baldrick’s CEO Kathleen Ruddy. “With these funds, these institutions will be able to enroll more children on lifesaving clinical trials, and complete the studies that are currently in progress. We are very thankful for our dedicated volunteers and donors who make these grants possible.”

St. Baldrick’s is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers. St. Baldrick’s coordinates its signature head-shaving events worldwide where participants collect pledges to shave their heads in solidarity with kids with cancer, raising money to fund research.

For many years, Upstate has participated in the annual St. Baldrick’s head-shaving events. This year, Upstate employees were among the more than 500 people to participate in the March fundraiser.

Since 2008, Upstate has received $403,307 from St. Baldrick’s.

Caption: Melanie Comito, MD, chief of pediatric hematology/oncology at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, professor of pediatrics at Upstate Medical University, is principal investigator on the research grant.

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