Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Awards $160,000 Grant to Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute for Innovative Cancer Research

We would need to master nuclear fusion to reach the stars, but with an incredible grant of $160,000 ($320,000 over two years) from The Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation’s forward-thinking Starr Children’s Fund, cc-TDI can explore the dynamic nature of fusion oncogenes. Fusion oncogenes are aberrations which are among the most powerful biomarkers and potential drug targets in translational cancer biology and represent a promising area for research into new cancer treatments for children.

The Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation (VLCF) board of directors and medical advisory board thoroughly reviewed grant requests from 18 top ranking organizations across the country.  The Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute was one of five successful recipients of funding totalling $373,864. Fellow recipients included the Children’s of Alabama located in Birmingham, Alabama, American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin and Children’s of Wisconsin and Team Phoenix – Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

“Since the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation’s inception, we have given more than $21 million to fund our mission of preventing cancer, providing the best care to those fighting it and finding a cure,” said VLCF President Trace Tendick. “We are proud of our national impact and are excited to be funding some of the most innovative work taking place within the cancer community.” 

Cancer is the number one cause of death by disease among children; yet, only 4% of the billions of dollars that are annually spent on cancer research and treatments are directed towards treating childhood cancer. The Starr Children’s Fund, created by the late Bart Starr and his wife Cherry, is devoted to raising funds specifically for pediatric cancer research and treatments. 

“Childhood cancer is very badly underfunded,” said Cherry Starr. “Bart and I decided that our future efforts would be to work with children with cancer and raise the money they so badly need.” 

“We are grateful to the Starr Fund and the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation for our grant,” said Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute Scientific Director Charles Keller, MD. “Better understanding and better treatments are our goals.” 

About Starr Children’s Fund  

After Vince Lombardi passed away from colon cancer in 1970, former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr and his wife Cherry graciously accepted the role of Honorary Chairpersons of the first annual Vince Lombardi Memorial Golf Classic and served the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation (VLCF) for 44 years. They contributed to raising more than $16 million to help fight cancer. In 2017, they introduced the Starr Children’s Fund, in collaboration with VLCF, which is dedicated to raising funds to support pediatric cancer research and treatment.  

About the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation  

The Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation was established in 1971, in memory of five-time National Football League Championship Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi. His spirit, enthusiasm and commitment to excellence touched countless lives. On September 3, 1970, he lost a battle to colon cancer, dying at only 57. In his honor, the foundation is dedicated to preventing cancer, caring for those who are battling it and finding a cure. For more information on the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation, visit lombardifoundation.org 

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