From the beginning of the current global health pandemic caused by COVID-19, the Max Cure Foundation grew concerned about the impact to come on the childhood cancer community. From the increased financial struggles felt by families of children in active treatment, to the pause placed on laboratory research, as well as the growing fear over the impending financial impact on overall research funding. Max Cure held a number of informative webinars with global leaders in the field of childhood cancer research and psychosocial health in order to provide insight into how the global pandemic will affect the childhood cancer community. One of these webinars culminated in Max Cure gaining authorship credit in a well-respected cancer journal through the publication of an article on the topic of childhood cancer research and the COVID pandemic. Our charge, as a childhood cancer nonprofit organization through this challenging time has been to help the community navigate through the battering waves.
Our commitment to funding childhood cancer research has never wavered. We continue our efforts to raise revenues to support innovative and transformational childhood cancer research. We also recognize that for so many researchers and lab personnel, the way they actually conduct their research activities has changed dramatically for now, and this reality creates significant challenges to operations. That is why the Max Cure Foundation is proud to provide an “Aqueduct Project” grant award to help Elias Sayour, MD, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics, University of Florida Term Professor ensure that his lab is able to safely operate under the current restrictions. The grant award will be utilized by Dr. Sayour to implement safety measures to allow his lab to get back up to operations and get lab staff back into the lab.
Dr. Sayour’s efforts represent the potential for the creation of a vaccine platform that may for the first time effectively change some of the tragic statistics for children diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer. We identified Dr. Sayour’s work in high grade gliomas as tremendously promising and have dedicated significant efforts to supporting the advancement of his transformational project.
Dr. Sayour’s innovative work involves the development of a nanoparticle vaccine platform for the delivery of immunotherapies targeting malignant gliomas. His initial testing results in treating companion dogs (pets) with spontaneous (non-research induced) brain tumors has been remarkable. Malignant gliomas in dogs are extremely similar to those in humans. Max Cure is seeking to assist Dr. Sayour’s efforts at conducting clinical trials using the vaccine therapy platform to treat adults and children with the deadliest forms of brain cancer.
This grant is a demonstration of what Max Cure does best with respect to our philosophy regarding research funding. We identify pressing needs, on top of transformational projects, in an effort to support more than just incremental gains. In the end, for us, it is about ensuring that the work continues without further delay to help provide hope to families in the fight today, tomorrow and beyond.