When it comes to childhood cancer, speed matters. The faster we can process and analyze quality childhood cancer data, the more quickly scientists can move toward lifesaving cures. The result is that families can breathe a sigh of relief sooner. And a sick child can realize their dreams.
It makes sense, then, that this past year our call to funders, legislators, and the childhood cancer research community has been to “Accelerate.” This is reflected as the theme of our 2021 Annual Report, which you can read here.
The Call for Cures
When we began our journey to accelerate cures for childhood cancer, we recognized the critical need to develop a robust national database that contains everything we need to know about childhood cancer. We recognized the importance of streamlined clinical trials to speed the development of lifesaving treatment. And we called for collaboration among government agencies, research institutions, and private companies to drive cures.
In 2021, we further honed this model to focus solely on brain tumors, the #1 killer of kids by disease. This model, in turn, can serve as an example in the quest of cures for other serious childhood diseases and disorders.
Working Together to Save Lives
As we rev up 2022, we’re on track to accelerate at an even faster pace to ensure we fulfill our mission to reduce childhood cancer deaths 50% by 2030 – and we believe we can reach this goal even sooner through our powerful partnership alignment:
National Cancer Institute: We presented the case for a robust national database, the use of machine learning (AI) to accelerate data processing, and the need for greater collaboration within the research community to NCI Director Ned Sharpless in 2017. This conversation led to the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative (CCDI), a $500 million, decade-long effort to fulfill our recommendation. However, their model includes all cancers, so progress is slow. Through a focus on brain tumors, the deadliest form of childhood cancer, we can make a bigger impact faster and create the model for others to follow.
St. Baldricks Foundation: Bridge To A Cure Foundation’s Robert Martin sits on their Board of Directors to influence how grant dollars are awarded. We’re calling on St. Baldrick’s and other major childhood cancer research funders to require that grantees share the data discovered.
Smashing Walnuts Foundation: We’ve teamed up with Ellyn Miller to encourage Congress to pass the Gabriella Miller Kids First 2.0 Act to fund childhood cancer and disease research without relying on taxpayer dollars.
Pediatric Cancer Data Commons: Through a game-changing grant, Bridge To A Cure Foundation turbo-charged completion of a childhood brain tumor dictionary that gives researchers a consistent language worldwide for recording and interpreting this kind of data.
Children’s Brain Tumor Network: CBTN is the largest biorepository of its kind in the country, and it serves as a model for the national childhood cancer database. Bridge To A Cure Foundation is a member of its Executive Council, pushing for institutional participation and peer foundation support along with providing expertise in strategic planning and communications.
Accelerating the Pace Toward Cures
Made possible in part by resources provided through a National Institutes of Health program, CBTN’s Project Accelerate speeds research by:
- Significantly increasing the size and scale of information available to researchers, scientists, and healthcare providers worldwide.
- Advancing personalized medicine, ensuring that doctors and clinicians can deliver the right diagnosis and treatment for each individual child.
Project Accelerate prioritizes the most aggressive and rare tumor types, where help is most critical. By the end of 2022, approximately 4,000 patient samples will be characterized. This flood of information will then be made available to researchers around the world, turbo-charging results that will lead, once and for all, to the end of childhood cancer.
We’re firing on all cylinders, in sync with our partners. And in the race to beat childhood cancer, every second counts.
Please give today to help fund Project Accelerate.
Read the Bridge To A Cure Foundation 2021 Annual Report here.