UT Health Science Center pediatric cancer researcher receives grant for groundbreaking work for childhood cancer survivors

SAN ANTONIO (August 12, 2014) — A pediatric hematologist-oncologist from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has been awarded a grant from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to continue his groundbreaking work into the long-term problems that lifesaving chemotherapy can cause in children.

Greg Aune, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Health Science Center, will use the three-year, $330,000 grant to examine the cardiac “late effects” that can occur in patients that undergo chemotherapy.

He and his fellow researchers at the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute are looking at a derivative of a commonly used chemotherapy agent that is less cardiotoxic in adult studies.

“The drug, liposomal doxorubicin, has never been systematically studied in children,” said Dr. Aune. “We hypothesize that it will cause less late cardiac toxicity in our model in the lab and thereby lay the foundation for more widespread use in children’s cancers.”

The grant is part of more than $24.7 million in new funding of pediatric cancer research grants announced recently by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity dedicated to funding children’s cancer research and the leading non-governmental provider of childhood cancer research grants.

“We cannot thank our donors, volunteers and partners enough for making these grants possible,” said Kathleen Ruddy, chief executive officer of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “At a time when the pharmaceutical industry is effectively uninvolved in childhood cancer research, and when federal funding for pediatric cancer research is at a record low, St. Baldrick’s supporters have stepped up to help ensure that critical pediatric cancer research continues and kids have access to clinical trials. Our goal is that all of our grants will have a positive impact on the kids battling cancer and continue to move us closer to our mission of finding cures for all forms of childhood cancers.”


The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the elite academic cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only four in Texas. A leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) conducts one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in development of cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit www.ctrc.net.

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $152 million to support lifesaving research, making the Foundation the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants. St. Baldrick’s funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world and to younger professionals who will be the experts of tomorrow. Funds awarded also enable hundreds of local institutions to participate in national pediatric cancer clinical trials. For more information about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation please call 1.888.899.BALD or visit St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

About The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 28,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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