What’s Happening With Your Donations? 2018-07-07T16:12:48+00:00

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH YOUR DONATIONS?

RESEARCH:

We are proud to announce that we awarded our first research grant, in the amount of $100,000, to the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in January 2018. This grant will fund a trial to test the efficacy and safety of adding a drug called Disulfiram to existing chemotherapies in an attempt to overcome the resistance to chemotherapy seen in sarcomas (cancers that occur in connective tissues and bones). Pediatric sarcomas are notoriously fatal because, while current chemotherapy can kill the majority of sarcoma cells, some cancer cells often survive chemotherapy and give rise to new cancers (relapses) or spread throughout the body (metastasis). Metastasis and relapses are the major cause of death from pediatric bone and muscle tumors. Current chemotherapies are 20, even 40+ years old, so attempts to make them work better and be less toxic are important while other cures are being discovered.

Why Disulfiram? Sarcoma cells that survive chemotherapy sometimes express high levels of an enzyme called Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH) and have high potential to cause relapses and metastasis and they have proven to be resistant to existing chemotherapy. The drug Disulfiram, used safely for over 50 years in the treatment of alcoholism, blocks ALDH and laboratory tests have shown that Disulfiram makes sarcoma cells more sensitive to chemotherapy, offering the potential for cures that are more reliable and less toxic to children with sarcomas. Chemotherapy will be around for a long time and SebastianStrong feels that it is important to help researchers quickly find ways to use lower doses of chemotherapy and make them more effective and less toxic to children. If successful, the hope is that this trial, being directed by Dr. Matteo Trucco, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Miami, will one day lead to dropping some of the drugs being used today, at least reducing their dosages.

For questions, please contact James McAllister, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board and member of the SebastianStrong Board of Directors at jim@sebastianstrong.org.

AWARENESS:

In order to further our mission of increasing awareness, this year SebastianStrong provided scholarships to talented high school seniors pursuing STEM careers. These young people exhibit strong leadership skills, a desire to serve others, and are pursuing degrees in the medical field.