In its six years of existence, the McKenna Claire Foundation has granted over $2,000,000 to researchers working to find cures for pediatric brain cancer.

In 2017 alone, $275,00 was granted to Monje Lab at Stanford University, $100,000 was granted to the NIH (Dr. Kathy Warren), $25,000 was granted to Dr. Mark Souweidane of the Children’s Brain Tumor Project at Weill-Cornell Brain and Spine center, $75,000 was granted to Seattle Children’s (Dr. Nick Vitanza and Dr. Jim Olson) and a $25,000 partnering grant was entered into with St. Baldrick’s Foundation. 

At the Monje Lab, these funds provide much needed financial support for new in vivo experiments being conducted to test various drug combinations on live DIPG tumor cell lines. Each such experiment costs between $10,000 to $15,000 per drug combination. In addition, Dr. Monje studies the biological processes of the pediatric brain and their effect on the origins of pediatric brain tumors and the consequences of treatment.  This work is key in increasing the understanding of DIPG and according to Dr. Monje “will serve as the foundation of a clinical trial within a large national consortium” set to open to relapsed DIPG patients this year.

At the Weill-Cornell laboratories of Dr. Mark Souweidane, the granted funds are being used to further advance existing drug delivery methods to areas of the brain that have not been reachable by traditional methods.   Through a microscopic drug delivery system, Convection-Enhanced Delivery (CED),  Dr. Souweidane is working to strategically place therapeutic agents directly into areas that have resisted traditional treatment, thus reducing the potency of drugs therapies needed, and toxicities to patients through current drug delivery methods.

For the 3rd year in a row, McKenna Claire Foundation has also partnered with St. Baldrick’s Foundation to help jointly fund pediatric brain tumor research grants reviewed by the St. Baldrick’s advisory board, allowing more scientists access to much needed funding in order to further research.

These important grants would not have been possible without you.   Thank you to every McKenna Claire Foundation supporter and partner who, over the last four years, has helped raise desperately needed dollars for pediatric cancer research.  Because of the generosity and passion of our extended community, we are honored to support the researchers and physicians who continue this fight, accelerating the pediatric brain cancer solutions children and families so desperately need.

We look forward to seeing you in 2018