St. Baldrick’s money to boost clinical trials

St. Baldrick’s Day in Syracuse raises money for the cure of childhood cancer. Participants are shown at Kitty Hoynes, an Irish pub in Syracuse, on April 2, 2017. Last year, more than 530 people had their locks shaved off in honor of cancer survivors and those who have passed away. (PHOTO BY DENNIS NETT/syracuse.com)

St. Baldrick’s Day in Syracuse raises money for the cure of childhood cancer. Participants are shown at Kitty Hoynes, an Irish pub in Syracuse, on April 2, 2017. Last year, more than 530 people had their locks shaved off in honor of cancer survivors and those who have passed away. (PHOTO BY DENNIS NETT/syracuse.com)

Upstate is one of 39 institutions nationwide selected to share $2.2 million in grant money from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to advance patient access to clinical trials.

Having access to clinical trials is vital to the treatment of childhood cancers. Nearly 80 percent of childhood cancer patients at Upstate are enrolled in a clinical trial, a number consistent with national trends.

The main St. Baldrick’s fundraisers are events in which men, women and children raise money by pledging to have their heads shaved. Kitty Hoynes hosted 530 “shavees” in 2017, and the Syracuse pub raised the most money in the country — more than $540,000 — for the second year in a row.

Melanie Comito, MD, chief of pediatric hematology/oncology and professor of pediatrics at the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, is appreciative of the St. Baldrick’s support and says it helps toward the long-term goal of curing all children with cancer. “With the new grant,” she says, “we are able to adequately staff our clinical research program, making it possible to provide the most up-to-date care to the children and teenagers in our region.”

Cancer Care magazine winter 2018 issueThis article appears in the winter 2018 issue of Cancer Care magazine.

 

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