This Week in Neuroblastoma – 1/15/14

We have a ton of promising new research projects going on this week to share with you! We also want to introduce you to a new neuroblastoma fighter. This week we are shedding tears for two families who have lost a child.

Here’s this week’s links…

Kids – Why We Fight

Cahill trying to kick cancer

Meet 5 year old Colin Cahill. Colin was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma on Nov. 18, 2013, and has a tumor wrapped around his spine and kidneys and has spread to his bone marrow. Currently, Colin is in treatment which is preparing him for an experimental technique called MIBG therapy. The Cahill family is also organizing a bowling fundraiser on January 18, 2014, to help offset Colin’s medical expenses. We are pulling for you, Colin!

Zac Knighton-Smith: Rushden surgery U-turn boy dies

We regret to inform you that 7 year old Zac Knighton-Smith has died after a courageous 5 year battle with neuroblastoma. Zac had traveled from the UK to Germany for life-saving surgery and had four Lymph nodes removed. He will be remembered as a lovely, full-of-life, happy little boy who will be greatly missed.

Funeral this weekend for Oshawa boy ‘adopted’ by Durham police

Danny Taylor, 4, captured the hearts of the Durham Police Department. Danny was diagnosed with neuroblastoma just before his 3rd birthday. Tragically, Danny passed away on January 7th surrounded by his family. Following the boy’s death, Insp. Saliba said Danny touched a lot of people at DRPS, “I think in one respect I feel very blessed that I met Danny and his family but I also feel that we’ve lost somebody who was very, very important and that makes pretty much everyone feel sad.” Our hearts and prayers go out to the Taylor family.

Ayrshire girl Vanessa given bravery award

Vanessa Riddle, 13, has been given a Little Star Award for bravery after successfully completing treatment for relapsed neuroblastoma. The recognition came from Cancer Research UK. “Vanessa will always be our Little Star and she loved her special award when it arrived” says Vanessa’s mother Connie. “She’s been through so much and she’s always so positive about everything, even though, at times, the treatment must have made her feel horrendous. Vanessa’s positive attitude also made her diagnosis so much easier for the rest of the family to bear.” Congratulations Vanessa!

Non-Profits / Events / News

Rare cancer hits home, twice

How “rare” is neuroblastoma if it can attack the same family twice? The Garmo family has been battling neuroblastoma since their first born son Isaac was diagnosed over 9 years ago and has been in remission since 2005. Now, the Garmo’s 6 year old daughter Julia is battling the same cancer her big brother fought. “I believe in miracles and our son is a miracle, because the odds were definitely not in his favor,” says Anita Garmo, mother of Isaac and Julia. “If you read statistics on this cancer. … I can’t even read them. Not once did I ever ask the doctor this time around, ‘So what do you think? What are her odds? What’s her prognosis?’ Because honestly, if she tells me, I know it’s probably not good. Please lift the Garmo family up in prayer as they fight this monster again.

Stompin Out Cancer event brings community together

Over 500 Houston, Texas residents came together to support 5 year old neuroblastoma fighter Jacob “Jake” Hickford at the 5k “Stompin Out Cancer” event held on Saturday January 11, 2014. Funds raised for the event will go towards Jacob’s trial treatment as chemotherapy is no longer an option for his cancer. To learn more about Jacob or the Stompin Out Cancer event, please visit

Otaku South, top ramen chefs team up for Extra Large fundraiser

There will be a delicious ramen fundraiser to benefit our friends over at the Pablove Foundation’s Teddy Berger-Greer Neuroblastoma Research Fund. The event is Feb. 15 at Marathon Music Works in Nashville, TN. There will be food, music, and more! For more information, visit

Alpine turns pink to support toddler with neuroblastoma

The town of Alpine turned pink for 19 month old Kylie Rowand. Kylie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma the day after Christmas this past year. On January 4th, Alpine held a “Paint the Town Pink for Kylie”, a ribbon pinning to help raise awareness and funds for Kylie’s treatment. As of January 10, almost $42,000 has been raised to help with Kylie’s medical costs. There are many more fundraisers planned to support Kylie this coming year. If you would like more information about Kylie and her fundraisers, please visit or

Memorial Sloan-Kettering to Use Sutro Technology for Neuroblastoma Research

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) will now use Sutro Biopharma’s cell-free protein synthesis technology to produce four different bispecific antibodies to treat neuroblastoma in children. Nai-Kong V. Cheung, M.D., Ph.D., head of Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Neuroblastoma program states, “We hope that the use of Sutro’s technology will facilitate a more rapid, high-throughput optimization of these bispecific antibodies in the future, and allow us to investigate novel variants of these molecules quickly before bringing the winner to the clinic.”

PCI-24781 (abexinostat), a novel histone deacetylase inhibitor, induces reactive oxygen species-dependent apoptosis and is synergistic with bortezomib in neuroblastoma

Here’s an excellent article that thoroughly details neuroblastoma and the various methods of treatments currently being studied. It also discusses the results of these treatment methods, as well as describes a new therapeutic strategy for

Prototype nanomedicine vaccine arms the immune system to fight cancer

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) has awarded the University of Maryland’s Christopher M. Jewell, an assistant professor in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, a three-year, $375,000 research grant to support the pre-clinical development of a cancer vaccine technology that could give children like Alex a better chance to have a long and healthy life. This prototype vaccine uses a combination of nanotechnology and immunology to create an “army” of tumor-hunting immune cells, equip these cells to attack neuroblastoma, and keep them active in case the cancer returns. We are very excited to see the results of this vaccine!

Gene panel identifies residual neuroblastoma metastases

After studying 343 cases of advanced-staged neuroblastoma in patients age 18 months and older, pediatric oncologists found that patients negative for minimal residual disease had about a fourfold increased rate of progression-free survival and about a threefold increased rate of overall survival, compared with patients positive for MRD. These experiments will help doctors better treat neuroblastoma patients, especially in cases where protocol is not beneficial to the

Scaling the Mountains behind the Mountains in Neuroblastoma Research

Researchers have been baffled as to how neuroblastoma metasizes. However, pediatric oncologist Nai-Kong Cheung and his team have identified common genetic alterations in advanced neuroblastomas that may help doctors predict the likelihood that the initial tumor will later recur in the brain. If the effect of these alterations is confirmed in experiments, it could guide the development of therapies to prevent the brain metastases. This is great news!

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