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Upstate is awarded $50,000 grant from St. Baldrick’s Foundation to support clinical trials for children with cancer

Melanie Comito, MD, division chief of hematology and oncology at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, has been awarded a $50,000 infrastructure grant by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

These one-year grant provides Upstate the staffing to open, coordinate, and treat more children on clinical trials, making it possible for more children to access these trials close to home.

Upstate was on of 24 institutions to receive an infrastructure grant, totaling more than $1.1 million.

The award supports the work at the Dr William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, which provides oncology care to children, adolescents, and young adults.

“To be able to offer clinical trials for children with cancers is one of the most important things we can do at our center,” Comito said.  “As a smaller center, we still see a variety of types of cancer, so we have to be prepared by having as many trials open as possible.

“We currently have 47 open clinical trials available for pediatric cancer patients which allows children in our 17-county area to have access to clinical trials closer to home, Comito added. “St. Baldrick’s infrastructure support is essential for supporting our clinical research staff so that we can meet this goal of curing as many children as possible.”

“St. Baldrick’s Infrastructure Grants are designed for one reason, to treat more children on clinical trials, often their best hope for a cure,” said Kathleen Ruddy, St. Baldrick’s CEO. “Thanks to donors, volunteers, advocates, and all those who are fighting every day for kids with cancer, from making these $1.1 million in grants possible. These grants are particularly critical because they often help children who are treated at smaller hospitals, or those where resources are scarce, but needs are high.”

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.