Childhood cancer is rare, which is one of the reasons it can be very difficult to treat. Only 4% of the federal budget for cancer research is devoted to pediatric cancers. Unfortunately, many cancer drugs and treatments are not approved for children, and some of the options that do exist are dated from as far back as the 1980’s.
Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) accounts for approximately 20 percent of pediatric leukemias. It is a very aggressive, fast-moving form of cancer with limited treatment options. Current chemotherapy regimens achieve long-term cure in only 60 percent of children. Relapsed and chemo-refractory AML make up more than half of childhood leukemia-related deaths.
AML is what Delaney suffered from. She was treated with chemotherapy, full-body radiation, and bone marrow transplant. Just when she appeared to be improving, the AML returned and there was no further treatment for her.
Researchers at the CHOP Center for Childhood Cancer Research are creating and testing new therapies that would specifically help children like Delaney who have no further treatment options for their AML. The treatment is called Immunotherapy, and trains your own cells to fight the cancer cells. This is cutting edge, ground-breaking work that will give hope to so many families.
The Board of Laney’s Legacy of Hope met the man in charge of it all, Dr. Richard Aplenc, on Feb.16. We were humbled and honored to meet him and to learn that our $100,000 was exactly the amount of additional money that was needed to get this therapy into production. He expects to be able to treat the first children in December of 2018!
We are more inspired now than ever to keep doing what we are doing with Laney’s Legacy. 40% of all money raised at our fundraising events, such as the Fashionista 5K, the golf tournament, and the Golden Gala, goes to our Research Fund. We are looking forward to the day we can present the next check! Thank you to all of our supporters who made this possible over the years!