ISF $100,000 Grant Supports New Therapy For Pediatric Cancers

The Isabella Santos Foundation is proud to announce a $100,000 grant to support a pilot clinical trial for children diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma through the Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC). The funds come from the foundation’s first annual coffee for a cure in Charlotte, NC that raised $55,000 of the total amount, thanks to over 300 local women. Another$30,000 was given from All-in to Fight Cancer, and the remaining amount was given through general donations.

This trial brings a new drug, DFMO, earlier in treatment combined with antibody therapy. The drug is currently used in clinical trials to prevent relapse after high risk neuroblastoma treatment after standard treatment. The results of this work will be presented at the American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Meeting on May 12, 2016. Currently still 12 percent of children will relapse during standard antibody therapy. This study will evaluate the safety of adding DFMO at this earlier time and evaluating the ability to decrease relapse rates.   This trial will be available at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte NC, the home of the Isabella Santos Foundation as well as other sites and led by Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“The Isabella Santos Foundation is excited to support new trials that directly impact children who are diagnosed with Neuroblastoma” said Erin Santos, President of the Isabella Santos Foundation. “Our daughter Isabella suffered 5 relapses of in her fight against this deadly disease so we understand the importance of specializing in this area. We are also proud to be a part of funding research that will directly impact our local Charlotte pediatric cancer community and are thankful for Dr. Sholler’s research that expands outside her hospital walls.”

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system which manifests when children are very young, with the average age at diagnosis being 18 months and remains a challenging pediatric cancer in need of new therapies. With this grant from the Isabella Santos Foundation, new hope is brought to many families.

“We are incredibly thankful for the support of the Isabella Santos Foundation which allows our research to pilot new ways to improve outcomes in children with high risk neuroblastoma,” said Dr. Giselle Sholler, Chair of the NMTRC and Director of Pediatric Oncology Research at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “We are hopeful this will make a difference in keeping children in remission.”


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In 2009, the Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) was established through Isabella’s parents to raise awareness and research funds for Neuroblastoma, and received it’s 501(c)3 status in 2010. This foundation continues to fight Isabella’s fight in her honor and for all children who are fighting Neuroblastoma.


The Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC) is a group of 25 universities and children’s hospitals headquartered at the Helen Devos Children’s Hospital that offer a nationwide network of childhood cancer clinical trials. These trials are based on the research from a group of closely collaborating investigators who are linked with laboratory programs developing novel therapies for high-risk neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. The NMTRC’s mission is to create a national collaborative effort of researchers, oncologists and family advocates to bring forward new therapies for children with relapsed neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma with the goal of improving the quality of life and survival of children with neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. For more information, visit: Follow NMTRC on Facebook and Twitter @NMTRC.

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