It was Isabella’s dream to Beat Cancer, Grow Hair, and Live Her Dreams. Although research and advanced treatments didn’t come in time for her dreams to come true, her legacy is pushing us to give others a fighting chance against rare pediatric cancer.
ISF is dedicated to improving rare pediatric cancer treatment options in an effort to increase survival rates of kids with cancer. Over the course of fifteen years, ISF has funded nearly $7 million toward expanding the scope of research and treatment and supporting families dealing with cancer in a variety of ways. In 2022, ISF gave over $1 Million for the third year in a row to support its mission for pediatric cancer.
For more on our impact, view our 2020-2021 Annual Report.
Milestones Through The Years
- Isabella Santos Foundation: For the first time in our history, ISF gives away $1 Million to support pediatric cancer.
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital: The TINKS Trial, focused on creating a new way of treating kids fighting relapsed sarcomas (osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma). A collaboration with Live Like Madison Foundation.
- Children’s Oncology Group: Rhabdomyosarcoma data study, This five-year trial is focused on analyzing tissue samples to assess patterns in rhabdomyosarcoma. The results will have significant effects on the treatment and prognosis of rhabdomyosarcoma patients now and in the future.
- Levine Children’s: ISF Rare & Solid Tumor Program. World-renowned cancer researcher, Dr. Giselle Sholler joins LCH Team
- Levine Children’s: ISF Rare & Solid Tumor Program. ISF Commits $5 Million to Create Rare & Solid Tumor Program at Levine Children’s
- Levine Children’s: MIBG Therapy Suite. Funded the design and construction of a leading-edge rare pediatric cancer treatment room at Levine Children’s Hospital, the Isabella Santos Foundation MIBG Suite. This treatment is known to be painless and extremely effective in the fight against neuroblastoma. Levine Children’s Hospital is 1 of 20 hospitals to have an MIBG Treatment room in the U.S. and the only location in the Charlotte region. The two-room MIBG suite provides targeted radiation to pediatric neuroblastoma patients with minimal side effects. This therapy impacts kids fighting cancer beyond the greater Charlotte region and will eventually expand to include adults with rare tumors.
- Levine Children’s: MIBG Therapy Comfort Baskets. As a child and family enter MIBG treatment they receive a gift basket specifically paid for 2018 ISF MIBG Ambassador fundraising efforts. Patients stay in the MIBG room 3-7 days after they receive their injection with parents/caregivers in the adjoining room. Baskets help bring a little comfort in their time away from their own home and can include gift cards, toys, movies, lovies, favorite snacks, games, and more.
- Levine Children’s: Phase II Study for Treatment of Recurrent/Refractory Sarcoma in Teenagers and Young Adults. Funded trial studying whether the drug combination of nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine prevents the formation or growth of tumors in teens and young adults with sarcomas, which include Ewing’s sarcoma, osteogenic sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and non-rhabdomyosarcoma. The FDA has approved the use of this specific drug combination for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer in adults, and it is thought that this combination will also be effective in treating other cancers. (Launched by The Sunshine Project, in collaboration with Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation & Joedance Film Festival).
- Levine Children’s: Developmental Therapeutics. Funded program which conducts, runs, and underwrites all clinical trials for the rare and solid tumor team.
- Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital: DFMO, a pilot clinical trial lead by Dr. Giselle Sholler for children with high-risk neuroblastoma. The trial introduced a new drug, DFMO, earlier in treatment combined with antibody therapy that is used to help prevent a relapse of Neuroblastoma. The trial will be available at participating hospitals, including Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte NC
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital: Neuroblastoma Killer Cell Trial & neuroblastoma research
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: SADA Drug Delivery Platform. The SADA drug delivery platform was created to control drug delivery with such precision that toxicity only occurs where the drug is picked up by tumor cells, and not to normal bone marrow, the immune system, kidney, or other vital organs.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Hu3F8 Clinical Trial. This grant funded the clinical testing of a Hu3F8 bi-specific antibody targeted at neuroblastoma. Based on a previous trial’s finding, the Hu3F8 antibody has shown great promise as a delivery agent for drug treatments; during the trial, patients experienced more manageable side effects and were able to receive treatments more often providing a sustained anti-tumor response. (in collaboration through Band of Parents with Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation, Inc., Press On to CURE Childhood Cancer Fund, and the I Back Jack Foundation)
- Children’s Oncology Group: Frontline MIBG Therapy, This Phase 3 trial was specifically targeted to determine the effectiveness of pulling MIBG therapy, which is traditionally used as an end of life treatment, to the frontline of therapy for children with high-risk neuroblastoma. This trial was available nationwide.
- Children’s Oncology Group: Circulating Tumor DNA project, technology developed within test tubes that will allow cancer to be detected through a blood test. Circulating tumor DNA may provide a method for monitoring disease status during treatment and maybe a means with which to detect changes in pediatric cancer mutation status without the need for invasive biopsies.
- Children’s Oncology Group: Project Every Child, a study to capture the biology and outcome of every child diagnosed with cancer in the United States. The ultimate goal is to collect biospecimens, including tumor tissue, host, and when feasible, parental DNA samples, which are stored at the COG’s state-of-the-art biorepository at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. These samples may then be utilized by any scientist in their studies to find new and improved cures for pediatric cancer.
- OneBlood: ISF partnered with OneBlood to open OneBlood’s first blood center in South Charlotte in 2017. Named in Isabella’s honor, the Isabella Santos Center is a state-of-the-art blood center located in Ballantyne and is one of their highest grossing centers.
- Make-A-Wish Foundation: ISF has granted funds to Make-A-Wish equaled to over 25 wishes in the state of North Carolina.
- Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte: ISF has granted over $120,000 to Ronald McDonald House.
- Scholarships: ISF has granted educational scholarships to several local high school students to help with college.