This Week in Neuroblastoma – 1/7/14

Welcome to a new year! We hope you are ready to raise more awareness and more funding than ever before!

We are starting this year on a sad note – another family has lost their son to neuroblastoma. To the family of Trent Haynes – we are so deeply sorry.

We do have promising research and trials to share with you as well, and  are optimistic  there will be a cure for neuroblastoma in the near future. We will continue to fight until neuroblastoma can no longer threaten children’s lives, as Ellen Blair, the co-founder of The Catherine Elizabeth Blair Memorial Foundation states.

Here’s this week’s links…

Kids – Why We Fight

Trenton “Trent” Haynes

Trenton “Trent” Haynes passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family and friends on January 3, 2014. Trenton was born on January 13, 2012 in Frisco, Texas to his parents Joshua and Jennifer Haynes. Trenton was diagnosed with Stage IV, high risk Neuroblastoma in January of 2013 and fought the courageous battle when declared cancer free in June 2013. Trenton relapsed on January 2, 2014 while receiving preventative treatment. Trenton’s family will be walking in honor of their baby boy in the CureSearch Walk on April 26, 2014. If you would like to donate to their walk, please visit Haynes family, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Non-Profits / Events / News

Orlando family shows sometimes-ugly face of childhood cancer

For most of us the reality of childhood cancer is most often viewed from the written words of parents watching their child in the midst of their battle; however, one family is giving the world a visual look into the devastating reality of childhood cancer. Melissa and Michael Wiggins want everyone to know that reality after their son Cannon was diagnosed with neuroblastoma 8 months ago. The Wiggin’s family shared pictures of Cannon with blood on his face, tubes in his nose, pale and nauseated from chemo and many more graphic but truthful photos. “Yes these images are brutal to look at but they are the reality of childhood cancer,” Melissa Wiggins wrote on Facebook. In November 2013, Cannon was declared NED (no evidence of disease), however, his family knows how vicious neuroblastoma can be and how often relapse occurs. Keep fighting, Cannon, and thank you Melissa and Michael for sharing those painful pictures to show the reality of childhood cancer.

Millie Heaton named as Skelmersdale’s person of the year

Neuroblastoma fighter Millie Heaton has been named Skelmersdale’s person of the year because of the bravery and strength she has exhibited throughout her battle with cancer. Millie was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma last February at the age of 20 months. The Skelmersdale community has come together to raise funds and awareness for Millie totaling nearly £25,000. People have climbed mountains, run marathons and had tattoos to raise money for Millie, who needs the money for treatments in the USA that are not available in the UK. Great job, Skelmersdale!

Redirecting our immune cells to help fight children’s cancer

According to the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI), immune cells, or Natural Killer T cells, can be redirected to help fight neuroblastoma. These Natural Killer T cells can be genetically modified so that they recognize neuroblastoma cells as being harmful. Researchers have managed to achieve long-term remission – and in some instances cures – of mice that carried highly aggressive human neuroblastoma. Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK and chair of the NCRI, said: “We are excited to see so much research both here and internationally into badly needed new treatments for neuroblastoma patients. Cutting edge research, such as this study, together with Cancer Research UK’s newly opened trials, are making a vitally important step towards better and kinder treatments for children with neuroblastoma.”

Clinical trial harnesses power of natural killer cells to treat neuroblastoma

Researchers have found that adoptive transfer of haploidentical natural killer (NK) is promising as a treatment option to target and kill cancer cells, including neuroblastoma cells in a less toxic way than conventional therapies. Thanks to a $136,000 grant from Solving Kids’ Cancer and The Catherine Elizabeth Blair Memorial Foundation, scientists will be able to combine NK cell therapy with an immunocytokine to target children with relapsed/refractory disease including those with bulky tumors. The phase 1 of this clinical trial will begin early 2015. “We are excited to be involved in this ground-breaking research,” added Ellen Blair, the co-founder of The Catherine Elizabeth Blair Memorial Foundation. “Our partnership with SKC enables us to further our mission to support the development of new treatments for neuroblastoma, until neuroblastoma can no longer threaten children’s lives.”

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