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Massey physician-researcher awarded $250,000 to identify risk factors for the prevention and treatment of pediatric cancer

Jul 25, 2017

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Seth Corey, M.D., chief of the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation in the Department of Pediatrics at VCU Massey Cancer Center and the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, received a $250,000 Innovation Award from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) to determine which children with an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome would benefit most from stem cell transplantation at an early stage using precision medicine and computer models.

Corey said that up to 30 percent of children and adults diagnosed with cancer have inherited a genetic risk factor. The two-year ALSF funding will be used to create software based on mouse models that can identify those risk factors and inform the use of personalized therapies for the prevention or treatment of myeloid malignancies in children.

Myeloid malignancies are diseases that begin in the bone marrow. They make take the form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML).

“We’re very grateful to ALSF for providing us with critical support to develop an innovative test to predict when a cancer will occur in a child so that we can intervene before the disease does,” Corey said.

Corey is also the Children’s Hospital Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research, co-leader of the Cancer Molecular Genetics research program at Massey and a professor of pediatrics, microbiology/immunology, and human and molecular genetics at the VCU School of Medicine.

ALSF is a national foundation dedicated to raising funds for the advancement of pediatric cancer research and treatment.

Written by: Blake Belden

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