Posted: March 14, 2018
UPDATE: April 4, 2019 – Through the generosity of Kiewit’s employees, their spouses, friends, relatives, and our gracious business partners, over $3,000,000 has been raised for CureSearch over the past 12 years.
Jakefest is funding Dr. Andrew Kung at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, an Acceleration Initiative awardee. Over the last two decades, high-risk sarcoma survival has remained unchanged; the Kung lab is using information from tumors collected from sarcoma patients to determine new treatment targets that will work universally in sarcomas of many types.
Kiewit funds continue to support Dr. Ranjit Bindra at Yale University, this time in the clinic via the Inaugural Catapult Award. Dr. Bindra is performing a clinical trial to see if the addition of a new drug to standard brain cancer therapy can reduce the amount of chemotherapy required for treatment.
CureSearch is grateful to have partnered with Kiewit Corporation over the past 11 years. Together, we raise critical funds for children’s cancer research. Kiewit’s contribution is already making major strides in the fight to end childhood cancer.
In 2017, Kiewit had a record-setting year by raising over $500,000. These funds support our mission to find better, less-toxic treatments for children diagnosed with cancer. Jacob “Jake” Koenigs, son to Kiewit employee Harry Koenigs and wife Robin, has been the inspiration over the past 11 years.
Kiewit raised funds for our childhood cancer research programs through Jakefest golf tournaments across the country. They also named CureSearch as their charity for their annual meeting and hosted other various fundraisers throughout the year. The funds raised support CureSearch’s game-changing Catapult Research Strategy that directly addresses the largest obstacles impeding children’s cancer medical progress.
Specifically, Kiewit funded two researchers including Dr. Ranjit Bindra at Yale University and Dr. Andrew Kung at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Both researchers have undertaken innovative approaches to finding new treatments for high-risk pediatric sarcomas like rhabdomyosarcoma, an extremely difficult to treat disease.
More about the research supported:
Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS)
Dr. Bindra pioneered an approach to identify new therapies for Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) that target unique genetic changes underlying this disease. Dr. Bindra developed a novel screening platform for new drugs that slow down the growth and spread of ARMS. There are currently no treatments that target these genetic changes. Once validated in the lab, the identified compounds will be advanced as ARMS therapies in the clinic to provide new treatment options for children suffering from this disease.
Dr. Kung created a novel approach to identifying new drugs for high-risk pediatric sarcomas. Using a strategy called VIPER and identifying the genes that make up the tumor, Dr. Kung conducts a computational analysis of the gene data to find commonalities. His work has zeroed in on three genes common to pediatric sarcomas, including rhabdomyosarcoma. FDA approved drugs for these targets are currently being tested for their effect on growth and spread of the cancers in laboratory models. Dr. Kung’s group is generating the largest dataset of pediatric sarcomas and laboratory models that will be available to all researchers, making it more likely that new treatments will reach patients sooner.
With the support of our partners like Kiewit, CureSearch won’t stop until more and better children’s cancer treatments are out of the lab and into the clinic and marketplace, where they can help the kids who need it most.
We thank Kiewit for their passionate support of CureSearch’s mission to end children’s cancer. Join Kiewit in making a difference and donate.
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