Medical Advisory Board
Cookies for Kids' Cancer's efforts are overseen by a Medical Advisory Board, consisting of some of the nation's leading pediatric oncology professionals. The Board helps us identify the most critical needs and promising new developments, so we can help advance treatments to clinical trial as quickly as possible.
Your donations can be directed to a specific pediatric cancer or program. If you donate to our General Fund, the Medical Advisory Board will guide how donations are granted through a peer review process.
Meet Our Advisory Board Members
Statement of Need
The field of pediatric oncology has come a long was in the last several decades. Cure rates have improved dramatically and advances in childhood cancer research has provided seminal insights into the cancer problem in general.
The major problem is that this cure rate has come at significant cost. First, the intensity of chemotherapy and radiation therapy used to achieve this cure rate has increased substantially, so that the majority of survivors have significant long-term complications of therapy.
Clearly, cure is not enough. Of equal urgency, several cancers, especially the solid malignancies, have not shown improvement in cure rates and current treatments are at their maximal intensity. Indeed, several cancers have seen no significant progress in over a decade and childhood cancer remains the number one cause of death in children from disease (accidents claim the most lives).
Cancer research is essential to achieving the goal of cure with quality for all children with cancer. Cancer research is responsible for the achievements to date, with pediatric oncologist showing the world how to perform meaningful clinical research that influences clinical care. However, the next generation of research that will lead to meaningful differences is quite different, and will rely on a detailed understanding of cancer biology with a newly facile was to translate discoveries to the clinic. It is often said that it takes a decade to develop a new cancer drug.
Clearly, this timeline is not acceptable. We have recently dramatically decreased the time line to get new targeted therapies to children with refractory cancer, and this new translational molecular oncology will be the pathway to the next revolution in cure rates. However, this type of research with demanding deadlines and urgent translation to patients is resource intensive.
It is daunting that only 7/100 submitted NIH applications receive funding in 2011, and that it typically takes 1-2 years to receive funding after application. While long-term goals for the pediatric cancer community will focus on securing more federal funding for childhood cancer research (more than the 1-2% of the National Cancer Institute budget that is current expended), philanthropy plays a critical and essential role in the ongoing battle against childhood cancer.
Philanthropic investment in key pediatric cancer research programs will provide the essential catalyst to make more discoveries and move them to improving cure rates as quickly as possible, and a partnership between researchers and “investors” in this mission will be critical to expand in order to make a difference now.
John M. Maris, M.D., Children's Hospital of Philadelphia