St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, has awarded a one-year infrastructure grant of $50,184 to Julio C. Barredo, M.D., director of Children’s Cancer Programs at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Toppel Family Chair in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
The Foundation’s infrastructure grants provide resources to institutions enabling them to conduct more research and enroll more children in clinical trials. This grant will be used to support the infrastructure of Sylvester’s Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) Program, primarily to hire a program coordinator.
This position will kick start the only program of its kind in South Florida that provides key services to a patient population, age 15-39, with specific needs, such as oncofertility services, financial and family counseling, psychological services and genetics counseling. Because these patients are of childbearing age, they often face decisions around egg harvesting, sperm collection and embryo banking.
“We have a very strong program, and with this grant, will be able to better coordinate the services we offer to this unique population,” said Barredo. “The St. Baldrick’s grants annually provide that key funding to accelerate new services and treatments for childhood cancer.”
The incidence of cancer in this age group has steadily increased during the past 25 years, and this patient population has worse outcomes compared with other groups, according to recent surveillance data from the National Cancer Institute.
The grant to Barredo is one of 39 grants totaling $2.2 million provided by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund cutting-edge research at institutions around the nation this year. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $232 million in lifesaving childhood research grants to support the most promising childhood cancer research, no matter where it takes place.
Worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes three minutes, and one in eight children diagnosed in the U.S. will not survive. St. Baldrick’s hosts events at which volunteers shave their heads to raise funds for pediatric cancer research.
This is the eighth St. Baldrick’s infrastructure grant awarded to a pediatric oncologist at Sylvester.
More information about St. Baldrick’s is available on the foundation’s website.