Building a Future Requires Funding Research
Max Cure Foundation believes in funding innovative and novel research in an effort to create less-toxic and more effective treatments for children and young adults diagnosed with cancer. More than $1.5 million to date has been donated, primarily to fund The Immune Cell Therapy Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
To date, MCF has funded over $1.5 million for childhood cancer research, including donating over $75,000 to the Children’s Joy Fund at MSK and in general over $32,000 to other research at MSK (the Max Cure Fund at MSK has received over $975,000 which included the seed monies that funded the development of T-Cells for therapeutic use laying the basis for the exciting advances tested in several clinical trials).
In addition, over $110,000 in matching funds has been contributed to MSK from MCF’s donations. As part of MCF’s research funding outside of MSK, $150,000 was provided for Ewing Sarcoma research at Emory University, as part of two $100,000 collaborative grants from the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, as well as a grant of $40,000 provided to a researcher at Duke University studying new treatment options for DIPG, an almost universally fatal pediatric brain tumor. Other funds were donated to various charities over the years to benefit childhood cancer research.
2017 began MCF’s initiative to identify the most aggressive and transformational research efforts, thanks to funding from the Connor Fund (Connor Cures Foundation) and the Elisabeth Brain Cancer Fund along with the support of so many donors. MCF focused on four research pathways in 2017.
To advance the treatment of the particularly difficult diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), including relapse and refractory disease, MCF funded Kevin Curran, MD at MSK in the sum of $50,000, which sum is included in the $975,000 referenced above, for research into the use of CAR-T cells, specialized immune cell therapy treatment using modified cells that target and eliminate cancer cells, with the ultimate hope of being used against other forms of childhood and adult cancers. This research has its genesis at the same Immune Cell Therapy Lab at MSK that MCF initially provided critical funding as referenced above.
Additionally, MCF through the Connor Fund and the RS Reynolds Foundation provided $33,500 to Maro Ohanian, DO, from MD Anderson Cancer Center with collaboration from Greg Aune, MD, himself a childhood cancer survivor from UT Health San Antonio, to conduct research hopefully leading to the launch of a clinical trial studying the harmful effects of heavy metals associated with chemotherapy treatment, environmental exposures and the related success rate of treatments and survivorship.
An additional component of these efforts is to study the use of FDA approved chelation therapies to remove toxins from the blood stream in an effort to reduce acute life-long side effects exhibited by childhood cancer survivors. MCF also made a grant of $1,000, made possible through MCF’s Run for the White House Program, to support the creation of a first of its kind osteosarcoma basket trial. Finally, MCF continued to support the fight against DIPG through the creation of the Elisabeth Brain Cancer Fund that allowed MCF to donate $47,500 to international clinical and research efforts, with another $42,500 granted in January 2018.