ATLANTA - (June 27, 2012) - Press On to CURE Childhood Cancer will help fund a new radiation therapy program at the Aflac Cancer Center of Children ’s Healthcare of Atlanta with a $200,000 donation. This funding will help with construction of the specialty radiation room, named in honor of Patrick Chance, and other aspects of the MIBG service. Patrick passed away in January 2012 after valiantly fighting neuroblastoma for more than five years. There are currently only a small number of centers around the country who currently offer MIBG treatment.
MIBG therapy is a treatment that uses radioiodine labeled metaiodobenzylguanidine (I-131 MIBG) to target certain tumors such as neuroblastoma and pheochromocytoma and delivers a much higher dose of radiation directly to the tumor. During this therapy, patients need to be treated in a special lead-lined room that prevents exposure to others. The MIBG therapy service will allow all children in Georgia to be treated in their home state and will allow for the Aflac Cancer Center to serve as a referral center for the Southeast.
“We are so grateful for groups like the Press On fund of CURE Childhood Cancer that help to promote and advance novel approaches to pediatric cancer treatment. We strongly believe that combining new treatments that more specifically target tumors, given in innovative combinations with traditional chemotherapy, will lead to better outcomes in treating cancer. It will be an enormous benefit that children in Georgia and across the Southeast no longer have to travel long distances for a better quality of life,” said Howard Katzenstein, M.D., Director of Clinical Research and Innovative Therapies at the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Associate Professor at Emory University School of Medicine.
I-131 MIBG is one of the most effective treatments for children with relapsed neuroblastoma, a cancer of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system. While not curative, I-131 MIBG usually is associated with fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy and often provides a better quality of life. MIBG is a compound that is absorbed by certain types of cancer cells. It has been used for many years to diagnose and monitor cancer activity. When a radioactive isotope of iodine (I-131) is bound to MIBG, doctors are able to deliver targeted radiation to the cancer cells without causing as much harm to neighboring healthy tissue as traditional radiation.
Press On to CURE Childhood Cancer is a named fund of CURE Childhood Cancer, Inc., a non-profit with a long-standing reputation for supporting families and funding childhood cancer research. Press On funds novel, innovative, and less toxic therapies for neuroblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), two of the deadliest pediatric cancers with some of the poorest pediatric cancer survival rates.
The Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta plans to complete the launch of the program and its physical facilities by late 2012 or early 2013.
Dr. Howard Katzenstein, quoted above, was Patrick Chance’s oncologist. For additional information: www.pressonfund.org, www.curechildhoodcancer.org or www.aflaccancercenter.org.
Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s
The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is a national leader among childhood cancer, hematology, and blood and marrow transplant programs, serving infants to young adults. Recognized as one of the top childhood cancer centers in the country, the Aflac Cancer Center treats more than 370 new cancer patients each year and follows more than 2,700 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders. Visit www.aflaccancercenter.org or call 404-785-1112 or 888-785-1112 for more information.
CURE Childhood Cancer
Founded in 1975, Atlanta, Georgia-based CURE Childhood Cancer has raised millions of dollars for research and ongoing education of pediatric cancer and is focused on supporting childhood cancer experts, locally and nationally, who work daily to discover a cure for pediatric cancer. CURE Childhood Cancer currently funds two pediatric oncology Fellows at the Emory University School of Medicine. CURE Childhood Cancer also offers programs that address the critical/urgent needs of patients and their families. For more information go to www.curechildhoodcancer.org or contact Kristin Connor, Executive Director, at 770-986-0035.