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Grant Extends Cancer Research Trials for Local Children

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Jan. 23, 2012 – A grant of $48,770 from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation will help expand childhood cancer research trials at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The grant to the Wake Forest School of Medicine supports a staff position to coordinate clinical research trials that investigate new treatments and aftercare for young patients. Trials must uphold strict scientific and ethical standards, and meeting such commitments requires extensive documentation and data management. The grant pays for a skilled staff member to handle these functions, allowing physicians and nurses to focus on patient care.

The school is one of 30 institutions to receive funding as part of St. Baldrick’s 2011 infrastructure grants that totaled $1.8 million. The grants are intended to help institutions treat more children on clinical trials or provide resources to make more research possible.

Clinical trials are one of the main reasons 75 percent of childhood cancers can now be cured,” said Thomas W. McLean, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, who applied for the grant. “Thanks to St. Baldrick’s, we are enrolling more of our patients in trials right here at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, without the disruption that travel to another research site brings to children and their families.”

The nonprofit St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising charity for childhood cancer research. Since issuing its first grants as an independent charity in 2005, St. Baldrick’s has funded more than $78 million in childhood cancer research.

“We are excited to make these grants to enable childhood cancer researchers to offer better treatment options to their patients,” said Becky Chapman Weaver, chief philanthropy officer for the foundation. “St. Baldrick’s volunteers and donors are making more research possible, which results in more lives saved.”

More information about St. Baldrick’s is available at www.StBaldricks.org.

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