Wisconsin and Michigan Challenge Each Other for Childhood Cancer Research

Dr. Mario Otto, pediatric oncologist, is working to bring new therapies for pediatric cancers from bench to bedside.The rivalry between the University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan just heated up - off the playing field.


Wisconsin and Michigan have challenged each other to see which can raise the most money for pediatric cancer research during the month of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.


"Both universities have robust childhood-cancer research programs," said Tom Young, director of development at UW Health's American Family Children's Hospital. "When Michigan approached us in July about the challenge, we knew we were game."


The challenge officially kicks off Wisconsin's broader effort for pediatric cancer research called "Fighting Cancer So Kids Won't Have To."


Wisconsin is home to the UW Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center (UWCCC), one of only 69 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in the country. UW Carbone Cancer Center pediatric-cancer researchers are focusing much of their cutting-edge research on immunotherapy, using the body's own cancer-fighting mechanisms to battle cancer. Immunotherapy is considered the next frontier in cancer research.


"We've made great strides in pediatric cancer research over the past few decades and that's reflected in survival rates of 80 percent," said Dr. Paul Sondel, UW's Director of Research for pediatric hematology/oncology. "But there is much more to do to further improve survival and decrease the side-effects of treatment. The Wisconsin/Michigan challenge is bringing attention to this pressing issue and promoting progress through research at two leading cancer centers."


The amounts raised will be announced at the Wisconsin/Michigan football game on October 1 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.


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Date Published: 09/01/2016

News tag(s):  kidscancer

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