Hope for Autumn Foundation: Committed to a Cure

April 19, 2017

Hope for Autumn has been an early and integral supporter of the Developmental Therapeutics program at the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancers and Blood Disorders, which is 1 of only 19 centers chosen as part of the Children’s Oncology Group Phase I/II Consortium. This program allows patients with the most difficult to treat cancers to have access to some of the most promising new therapies- all without leaving their home institution. Since 2010, 68 patients have been treated on a Developmental Therapeutics study, there are currently 12 Developmental Therapeutics studies open. Dr. Friedman recently opened a groundbreaking Phase 1 study using the herpes virus to defeat medulloblastoma. With one gene removed, the virus is able to kill the tumor cells without killing healthy cells, and has proven to be safe and effective for adults. He is enrolling patients from across North America and hopes to expand by adding additional collaborative centers. His work was highlighted in a report on the Cancer Moonshot Project led by Vice President Biden. The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders has collaborated with the pediatric surgery department and basic science researchers at UAB to develop a Xenograf Study. This project takes samples of solid tumors (newly diagnosed and recurrent) and implants them in mice. This allows samples of the tumors to grow and for investigators to learn about drug resistance and hopefully identify novel therapeutics for challenging cancers. There are currently 87 samples implanted making it one of the largest xenograft programs in pediatric oncology.

Hope for Autumn Foundation has continued to offer families affected by childhood cancer hope and assistance. Since 2011, Hope for Autumn has donated $74,755 in support of the Developmental Therapeutics program and family support. For 2014-2016, Hope for Autumn has been able to offer critical financial support to 12 families who were enrolled on Developmental Therapeutics studies. Through events such as the annual Crawfish Boil, Give Hope Day, and Fall Fizz and Fare, Hope for Autumn raises funds and awareness about childhood cancer. And as we all know, more awareness leads to more funds which gives us new and better cures.

We thank our Hope for Autumn for supporting our work at the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders. Over the last decade and more, community support has provided seed funding for all of the programs highlighted in this report. Our dreams and goals are large, but within our reach with your continued support,” Dr Kim Whelan, director.