Our work has been at the heart of transforming the lives of families fighting childhood cancer.
With your support we can continue our groundbreaking work to try and help even more children and their families. The support, tools, and research we provide to the childhood cancer community are crucial in our continuing efforts to beat childhood cancer.
The Purple Society’s support of basic and clinical research within the established infrastructure will expedite the discovery of new agents to treat incurable pediatric cancers.
Childhood cancers are rare diseases affecting 1 in 10,000 children under age 16. At the beginning of the 20th century, all childhood cancers were incurable; by the end of the 20th century, we made much progress in childhood survival rates. While increasing survival rates in childhood cancer is one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine, there remain childhood cancers where there has been little or no progress, and in the others the anticipated 100% survival is proving elusive. Remarkably, childhood cancer remains the most common lethal disease of American children over the age one.
Historically clinical trials have been the cornerstone of success in conquering pediatric cancers, often outpacing basic research. Today, molecular and cellular biology present a continuous stream of discoveries revealing differences between cancer cells and healthy cells and offering an infinite number of potential targets for new treatments. At the moment, we are in the early stages of developing targeted treatments, and so far there are only a few notable successes among many attempts. Meanwhile, designing and carrying out clinical trials is becoming increasingly costly and impossibly complicated. To move forward, we need both models to predict which new treatments to test in humans and new ways to carry out trials for small subsets of children with uncommon diseases.