Join our most ambitious effort to fight childhood cancer

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has embarked on its most ambitious initiative yet in the fight to find cures and save children.

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital – Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project is an unprecedented effort to identify the genetic changes that give rise to some of the world's deadliest cancer.

It will help us understand, in ways never before possible, how cancer begins and grows in children. This new knowledge promises to lead to better ways of diagnosing and treating cancer and helps bring us closer than ever to realizing Danny Thomas’ dream of a day when no child will die in the dawn of life.

Estimated to cost $65 million over three years, the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project is the largest investment to date aimed at understanding the genetic origins of childhood cancers. The team has joined forces to decode the genomes of more than 600 childhood cancer patients, who have contributed tumor samples for this historic effort.

"For the first time in history, we have the tools to identify all of the genetic abnormalities that turn a white blood cell into a leukemia cell or a brain cell into a brain tumor," said Dr. William E. Evans, St. Jude director and chief executive officer. "We believe it is from this foundation that advances for 21st century cancer diagnosis and treatment will come."

St. Jude is home to one of the world's largest and most complete repositories of biological information about childhood cancer. The collection dates to the 1970s and includes more than 50,000 tumor, bone marrow, blood and other biological samples. These samples are essential to efforts to understand the origins of cancer. The tissue bank has also helped St. Jude scientists develop the experimental models expected to be important for determining which mutations drive cancer's development and spread.

Long-time St. Jude supporter Kay Jewelers has already committed to provide $20 million as the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project 's lead sponsor.

For more information on how you can support St. Jude and to learn more about this revolutionary project, please call 1-800-395-4341 or register for updates below.

About the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project
The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital – Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project is a pioneering research collaboration to sequence the genome of approximately 600 pediatric cancer patients over the next three years. This new project, the largest such endeavor in history, will compare patients' healthy tissues with cancerous tissues to better understand the DNA mutations that drive childhood cancers.

This genome project is the largest investment ever made to advance understanding of the genetic origins of childhood cancer.

The project's scope and design reflects the philosophies and talents of the institutions involved. St. Jude and Washington University have a history of scientific collaboration, and a track record of innovation in research and patient care. They also share a commitment to excellence and openness in research. The pediatric genome project will include a public database where information, once validated, will be shared with the international scientific community with the goal to accelerate progress against childhood cancer.


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February 2010