CureSearch was established more than 25 years ago to play a vital role in funding research to find new cures and treatments for children’s cancer. Today, in response to this enduring goal, we have articulated the following:
Improve childhood cancer treatment and cures to deliver the potential for childhood cancer patients to lead long, healthy lives.
As recently as 1975, only half of the children diagnosed with cancer actually survived. Therapies were often administered at adult dosages, testing the limits of a child’s ability to survive the treatment itself. As treatment protocols were established for the use of chemotherapy in children, researchers began to prevent many of the negative consequences of childhood cancer treatment. Between 2004-2010, more than 80% of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer reached the benchmark survival target of 5 years post-diagnosis.
However, even as more children defy the odds, the treatments used to save their lives continue to have toxic side effects. Two out of every three survivors will still develop at least one complication — many due to the toxicity of therapies originally developed for adults. More than half of survivors will experience a severe complication (including death) by the time they reach 50 years of age. Treatments for children’s cancer have also lagged behind those for other cancers. In the last decade, over 90 new cancer drugs have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration1 — yet only 3 of these therapies have been approved specifically for children’s cancer.
In 2013, CureSearch introduced a groundbreaking new model to address these issues. Inspired by the voices of countless families who continually advocate for new treatment options, we launched the Acceleration Initiative, our $10 million commitment to find the most promising children’s cancer research, drive it to clinical practice, and quickly identify better treatments and cures. Under our new model, we accelerate the search for cures by posing essential challenges to scientists and inviting teams to overcome them with innovative research approaches; and we transcend the barriers of a broken research system by establishing new pathways to end children’s cancer.
Our Acceleration Initiative and Young Investigators Program, combined with insights from our Scientific Advisory Council and support provided by the CureSearch Community Impact Awards (CCIA), help us stand at the intersection of medical, scientific, and commercial sectors to identify new treatments and cures for children’s cancer.
1. FDA Drug Approval numbers: 5 in 2015; 10 in 2014; 12 in 2013; 19 in 2012; 12 in 2011; 6 in 2010; 9 in 2009; 5 in 2008; 6 in 2007; 4 in 2006; 2 in 2005; 6 in 2004 (centerwatch.com pulled July 13, 2015)