Where does your money go?

How to get involved

Invest in our mission
The Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute plans to initiate five, de-risked clinical trails every year. Your gift will enable us to grow at the rate we need to achieve our ambitious but critical goal.

Start an honor fund

Any Amount
Honor a cancer fighter by creating your own, personalized fundraising page. Tell your heroic story and every dollar will benefit innovative research that aims to initiate clinical trials for childhood cancer.

Spark Gift

Any amount up to $5,000
Spark the fire on our mission - These ‘spark’ gifts will go to propelling our laboratory towards new discoveries…and a new way of doing research in partnership with the community and families. The members of our community are truly partners in our shared mission and we encourage them to participate by visiting the lab, signing up for our nanocourses, and by becoming a partner in the important research we do.

Surge Gift

$5,000 - 25,000
Accelerate our start - These critically-enabling gifts will go to enhancing our laboratory space, key operational elements, as well as tools for bi-directional communication with families, who are our constituency. Join us and be acknowledged by an engraved tile on our Founder Circle Wall, as well acknowledgment on our website.

Evolutionary Gift

$25,000 - $250,000
Stimulate our pace. These gifts will help us to prioritize efficiency and engage in innovative and unique collaborations and partnerships that create significant hope for the families. Support our mission through this funding opportunity and join us for a day in the lab, as well as a plaque in the “front office” announcing your support.

Transformative Gift

$250,000 and up
Revolutionize our impact - These gifts will help us expand our efforts, hire more scientific teams, explore types of cancer that have seen little to no advancement in decades and, ultimately, achieve our lofty but achievable mission of making all forms of childhood cancer universally survivable.

Patron Gift

Any amount monthly
Create sustained growth - Your monthly support of our research mission through a personal or matched employee giving contribution will make an ongoing difference in the development of new childhood cancer treatments, everyday!
Invest in our technology
In order to accelerate pediatric cancer drug development, cc-TDI needs state-of-the-art equipment and technology

Confocal Microscope

Used 6-8 times per day. Understanding tumor biology requires observations of how cancer cells interact and co-op their microenvironment of normal cells and connective tissue. To know that a new therapy has promise, these tumor cell-tissue interactions can be viewed in real time using a specialized, highly sensitive 4-laser microscope.

Thank you to The Kuni Foundation for funding this equipment purchase!
We are so grateful for your help in our mission to make childhood cancer universally survivable!

Drug Combination Printer

*Reduces drug development time by months.
This micro-volume drug testing instrument created by HP allows us to look for synergy between novel classes of non-chemotherapy and molecularly-targeted drugs in seconds. This technology reduces drug development time by months.

Systems Biology at Light Speed

Understanding drug action & speeding discovery (“wow for our drug discovery program!”) - This Luminex 200 instrument brings submicroscopic detail of how tumors work, and how drugs for childhood cancers work. Measuring two dozen protein molecules at a time is what this instrument does better than any other… with a level of precision that is unprecedented. Support of this instrument and reagents will be used in the development of five promising new potential childhood cancer drugs this year, and many fold more in the coming years!

Tracking Tumor Metastasis-In-A-Box

Drug testing accuracy improves four-fold. Our genetically-engineered mouse models have tumor cells that harbor firefly luciferase and jellyfish fluorescent proteins. To enable us to see these bioluminescent and fluorescent signals, a piezo-electrically supercooled imaging system allows us to track our progress at developing drugs that stop or prevent tumor metastasis. This system would improve our drug-testing accuracy four-fold.

Going with the Flow

Robot enhanced! - Our super-fast SciClone robot can go even faster! With a special attachment and calibration we can test hundreds of drugs not at current per-minute pace, but at a per-second speed!

Cellular Focus

Location, location, location - Genes give rise to proteins, proteins get placed in compartments of cells. Where do the drugs need to go to reach each protein, to turn off the cancer? This ultracentrifuge bucket rotor spins at 100,000 times the force of gravity to separate cellular components and reveal these answers!

Freeze Cancer in its Tracks

Help us scale up for collaboration - Help us maintain our inventory of precious biological samples for sharing with other labs via this new -80˚C super-deep freezer for the lab! This new generation eco-Freezer will allow us to efficiently store samples and uses natural refrigerants to minimize environmental impact.

Give a mouse a home…

Critical to our translational research. Our genetically-engineered mouse models of childhood cancer require specialized, pathogen-free housing and care. In this setting with the specialized equipment your gift makes possible, we can also develop new models – specifically, mice who help us define compounds that might convert primitive tumor cells to non-cancerous, well-differentiated cells by means of treatments that are added to (or replace) chemotherapy and radiation.

For this naming opportunity, you will be recognized with a special engraved scroll at the entryway to our unique Kyoto-style mouse house.

Stopping the Invasion

Understanding tumor cell invasion. Solid tumors move to new locations on the premise of a carrot or a stick: attracted to new growth factors, or seeking to replace depleted nutrients. These migrations affect how well a tumor can be surgically excised from its original location, or even whether a tumor’s treatment is primarily the removal from its original site – or whether the patient faces the challenge of tumor spread throughout the body. This real-time, live-cell imaging microscope allows us to understand the forces that control tumor cell invasion – and to test new therapies that can stop this process.

Natural Products Drug Library

Thinking outside-the-box. A high-risk, high-reward project approach to identifying natural products that inhibit tumor stem cells begins with the purchase from several sources of a library of natural plant hormones known to have effects on plant stem cells that control root growth, leaflet formation and flowering/fruiting.

Tank it Up

Resources for research, resources for sharing - Our rapid pace leads to cell lines and samples we can use for future research studies – and share with other researchers throughout the world (as we often do!) We need two of these tanks this year.
Invest in our people
The scientists and engineers at cc-TDI are the life-blood of our mission…and the reason we have initiated 2 clinical trails in less than 2 years.

Named Fellowship in Pediatric Cancer Research:

$102,000 per year (2 years)
You can train a promising scientist for a career in childhood cancer research. The candidate will be either an MD in training or a PhD in training. Support would be for 2 years at $60,000 per year. example, “The Lane Edwards Fellow in Pediatric Cancer Biology at cc-TDI”. Bright, young innovative fellows are the rocket fuel of our research!

Travel Award for Trainees & Scientific Sharing

$10,000 for one year
This is an important aspect of what we do, because the sharing goes both directions and our trainees benefit immensely at such presentations by the discourse and suggestions of the scientists across the U.S. and beyond. A gift of $10,000 would allow 4 scientists or trainees selected by cc-TDI to present and exchange their findings at national scientific conferences.

Summer Student Research Internship

$2,500 for one year
You can create an opportunity for a bright young college or medical student to gain experience and inspiration through childhood cancer research. With your support, a high-achieving young person will conduct a carefully-designed set of experiments that relate to the biology and/or treatment of a childhood cancer. You will receive a personal letter reporting results. All projects are expected to go to publication, and you will be acknowledged for your contribution.

The Pediatric Cancer Nanocourse

$15,000 for one year
This is a bi-directional exchange whereby family members of childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer patients attend a one-week Summer course on cancer research. Attendees organize into teams who use what they learn to write a “roadmap” for their cancer of choice. An example is the paper, “A diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma roadmap: guiding research toward a cure” published by parents in 2014 (Pediatric Blood & Cancer. 2014 May;61(5):765-7). Your contribution will grant these self-pay attendees a $1000 stipend. Your gift also makes possible the honorarium to invite an outside childhood cancer research speaker.

Named, Endowed Chair in Childhood Cancer Research

$1.5 million.
This legacy-level professorship supports the ongoing creativity of a hand-selected childhood cancer scientist through an enduring endowment. Typically, an endowment of this form affords the chosen professor the time and annual financial resources to take more creative approaches to discovery of novel new treatments.
Invest in our projects

Our mission is to make all forms of childhood cancer universally
survivable. Many of the types of cancer we study have seen little to no
treatment advancement in decades.

A Novel Treatment for Children with Anaplastic Wilms’ Tumor

An unmet clinical need exists for children with Wilms’ tumor that present with anaplastic (unfavorable) histology. While traditional chemotherapeutic treatment for histologically favorable Wilms’ tumor has seen great success, many children presenting with anaplastic disease fail to respond to therapies. Anaplastic Wilms’ tumor has relatively little resource development, basic science or translational research compared to other forms of childhood cancer. We propose to study anaplasia in Wilms’ tumor at a preclinical level to discover why anaplastic disease tends to be resistant to standard therapies and to predict a rational drug combination which might be more effective and less toxic for these children.

To this end, we will use a combination of functional genomics, drug screening and gene expression data mining to develop a novel targeted therapy combination that is specific to anaplastic Wilms’ tumor. We will then preclinically validate this novel drug combination in vitro, ex ovo, and in vivo in order to provide a strong rationale for moving this therapeutic strategy into the clinical setting.

Engineering Forward Initiative for Childhood Cancer Therapies

Be the sponsor for this team! - This multi-disciplinary approach to accelerating discovery of therapies for childhood cancer is made possible by a joint effort of our scientific director Dr. Keller and our Board member, Sunit Rikhi, former VP of the Intel custom foundry. Together, our teams of biologists and engineers will maximize automation and the design of new devices and biomaterials that address challenges in the treatment of cancer as well as prevention of recurrence, ultimately improving outcomes for children with cancer. The range of projects will include advanced analytics for new drug therapies, sensing technologies, bio-engineering methods and other ideas that emerge from this cause.

Epigenetic Therapy to Overcome Checkpoint Adaptation in Rhabdomyosarcoma

Partner with us on this flagship project - Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (aRMS) is generally not survivable when metastatic. However, this disease does respond to chemotherapy in most cases. The driving clinical challenge is to overcome recurrence after chemotherapy and radiation [figure adapted from J Clin Oncol. 2012 May 10;30(14):1670]. We recently reported in PLoS Genetics that the Pax3:Foxo1 oncogene present in most aRMS cases facilitates checkpoint adaptation (high tolerance of double-stranded DNA breaks or mitotic catastrophe) [highlighted in Nature Reviews Cancer].

The gap attributed to Pax3:Foxo1 mediated treatment resistance is estimated to be up to a 50% difference in survival over 10 years. Genetic knockdown of Pax3:Foxo1 improves chemotherapy & radiation sensitivity and reduces tumor re-establishment [PMID 24453992]. Remarkably, however, Pax3:Foxo1 can also be pharmacologically silenced at the mRNA and protein levels by entinostat, an adult phase II histone deacetylase inhibitor recently granted FDA breakthrough designation for ER+ breast cancer. In our studies, entinostat dramatically improved sensitivity to the rhabdomyosarcoma chemotherapeutic, Actinomycin-D. This latter work from our lab is in press for the journal, Genes & Development. We also have unpublished data to suggest that radiation sensitivity is dramatically improved as well. What remains to established is that entinostat will sensitize Pax3:Foxo1+ aRMS to the chemotherapies most often used in relapsed disease (our planned initial phase II strategy). The Phase I study is underway (clinicaltrials.gov NCT02780804) … the race is on to generate the data enabling the Phase II clinical trial.

The ASPS/Xp11 RCC/PEComa Cancers Consortium

A Collaborative effort to catapult treatment options for ASPS - The mission of the ASPS/Xp11 RCC/PEComa/EHE Cancers Consortium is to catapult the discovery of treatment options for these cancers that share common molecular features (e.g., TFE3 gene fusions). Our goal is to advance novel drug and drug combinations to clinical trial for these cancers.

We are collaborating with DFCI, The University of Utah, and the University of Miami to achieve our mission of: creating a registry for ASPS, Xp11 RCC, PEComa and EHE patients and families, generating a shareable central resource (biorepository) for cell lines and mouse models, and using robotic drug screens to discover new therapeutics (drugs) to treat ASPS, Xp11 RCC, PEComa and EHE.

The ETANTR (ETMR) Consortium

Help us unlock the key to a cure for ETMR - Embryonal tumors with abundant neuropil and true rosettes (ETANTR) is a rare category of brain tumors of children that generally occurs in the cerebrum (but not exclusively) and has a median survival of only 9-13 months. Due to the severe nature of this tumor and the scarcity of preclinical resources necessary to make drug screens possible, our consortium will start by developing cell lines and mouse models and then create shareable central resource(biorepository) for cell lines and mouse models. Then, using robotic drug screening and computational approaches to prioritize single agents and drug combinations, we will discover new, effective therapeutics (drugs) to treat ETMR.

Leukemia Dynamics

Re-thinking the box - Gleevec inhibits the BCR-ABL oncogene in childhood and adult leukemias, but the drug is taken for years because “reserve cells” can lead to relapse if gleevec treatment is stopped too early. This pilot project explores why the gleevec-indifferent reserve cells may exist, based on unexpected preliminary data that leads to a radical new way to think of fusion oncogenes.
Invest in our space

We currently operate out of a 4600 squarefoot laboratory in proximity to the Silicon Forest. You can help us maintain and grow our laboratory, ultimately, accelerating our mission to make all childhood cancers uniformly survivable.

Sponsor a Lab Bench

Families are our inspiration – Children with cancer and their families are at the center of everything we do. Help us keep our inspiration at the forefront by sponsoring a lab benchin the name of a child or their siblings. We will create a plaque with apicture of the child or children being honored and visibly place it on one of our state-of-the art laboratory benches.

Named Research Laboratory

$2.5 Million
The Laboratory for Childhood Cancer Therapy Discovery will be named for your family or organization. Receive biannual updates, an annual presentation, as well as V.I.P. “be a scientist for a day” annual visits, transferrable to the child (or adult) of your choice.

Open Science Research Laboratory and Summit Center

$10 million
We envision an open science laboratory facility whereby scientists from across the globe come to define disease-specific research needs and partner in planning the specific basic science & preclinical studies that get promising new treatments to clinical trials for the children, adolescents and young adults with cancer. This open science “research ranch” will be in Oregon, with accommodations for visiting scientists and families, as well as a conference center. This state-of-the-art research facility and conference center will be the principal cc-TDI research site and a hub for the community – scientist collaboration and innovation.
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