We are excited to announce that for the first time that TeamConnoor and St. Baldrick’s are coming together to help fund the work of Dr. Erica Braverman at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Braverman is working to find a way to alter tumor-targeting immune cells to make them last longer when they are given back to patients.
There are new cancer therapies in which a patient’s own immune system is retrained to fight against their cancer. One of these therapies is CAR-T cell therapy, when a patient’s immune cells are removed from the bloodstream and reprogrammed to target and attack their cancer when the cells are returned to the body. While this therapy has shown great promise, there are still situations, especially with very high-risk cancers, where it does not work. One significant issue that exists with this treatment is that the retrained immune cells do not always stick around after being given back to the patient, which allows the cancer to outlast the therapy and come back.
Dr. Braverman and her team know that once cancers have resisted a treatment once, it is difficult to use the same treatment again. Dr. Braverman’s project aims to find ways to make the altered immune cells last longer, ultimately allowing for a long-term cure for their cancer without the need for further treatment.
“The TeamConnor board of directors had a unanimous vote in November 2020 to move forward and co-fund this research grant with St. Baldrick’s for Dr. Braverman. We are thankful for our generous donors who make the important research funding possible. As a mother of a childhood cancer warrior who fought courageously, it gives me hope to know that one day these important research studies will lead to better treatments but most importantly a cure. Our family walked a journey that no family should walk. This is my purpose and why as an organization TeamConnor is passionate about funding childhood cancer research” Joy Cruse, founder of TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation and more importantly Connor’s mother. ”
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