The Neuroblastoma Alliance Contributes Over $350,000 to Benefit Pediatric Cancer Research and Clinical Trials in the First Half of 2010

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The parents of children battling a very deadly pediatric cancer, or who have lost a child to this disease, have united to help fund the efforts to try and save kids battling relapsed neuroblastoma. This spirit of collaboration mirrors the doctors who are collaborating for a cure as part of the NMTRC consortium.

The Neuroblastoma (NB) Alliance, a group of parents whose children are battling the deadly pediatric cancer neuroblastoma, have raised over $350,000 in the first half of 2010. This money is being given to support Dr. Giselle Sholler’s neuroblastoma research program at the Vermont Cancer Center and the collaborative efforts of the Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (nmTRC), a group of 10 universities and children's hospitals dedicated to launching therapies and clinical trials for pediatric cancer patients.

Each year, approximately 650 children in the United States are diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a particularly deadly form of cancer - that frequently comes back despite the most aggressive chemotherapy regimens possible. There is no known cure for neuroblastoma once it returns and this program is focused on this forgotten pediatric patient population.

“The NB Alliance is committed to funding the research in Dr. Sholler’s lab and translating those findings directly to the clinics of the nmTRC. It is only through the breathtaking speed of this translational work that kids fighting for their lives today have a chance at new options to not only extend their lives but to give them a quality of life unseen in the world of relapsed neuroblastoma” said Sharon Crites the director of the NB Alliance.

“The support raised by the families of the NB Alliance has allowed us to form this new consortium and to open new clinical trials to bring therapies to children with neuroblastoma across the United States. Their support of this work has given us all hope that improving life for these children is possible.” says Dr. Sholler.

The gift by the NB Alliance comes directly from money raised through fundraising events organized by the families of children who are battling relapsed neuroblastoma.

Patrick Lacey’s son Will is a patient of Dr. Sholler’s who is battling relapsed neuroblastoma. “I can’t even begin to imagine what Will’s life would be like today if he was walking the traditional path of treatments and side effects – assuming he would even be alive,” said Mr. Lacey. “Will’s treatment options under Dr. Sholler’s care have given him the most amazing quality of life. We are incredibly thankful for that and, more importantly, we are grateful that this research is not languishing in publications or on the sidelines but is actually going directly to the clinic to benefit kids just like my son today.”

About NB Alliance (http://www.nballiance.org)
The Neuroblastoma Alliance (NB Alliance) is a group of pediatric cancer fundraising and advocacy organizations that collaborate to support innovative neuroblastoma research and clinical trials. They are dedicated to funding practical, relevant Phase I and II clinical trials which are led by the neuroblastoma research team at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the collaborators of the nmTRC. Their sole focus is on increasing survival for relapsed neuroblastoma.

About nmTRC (http://www.nmTRC.org)
The Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (nmTRC) is a group of 10 universities and children's hospitals with strong research and/or treatment programs for neuroblastoma. Working closely together, they develop and test promising new therapies for high-risk and relapsed neuroblastoma. The majority of funding for nmTRC comes from the families, parents, friends and communities of those affected by these devastating pediatric cancers.

About Vermont Cancer Center (http://vermontcancer.org/)
The Vermont Cancer Center is a not-for-profit comprehensive clinical and research cancer center, the only such organization in the state of Vermont. Founded in 1974, the Vermont Cancer Center is located within the University of Vermont (UVM) College of Medicine and enjoys a clinical partnership with Fletcher Allen Health Care.

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