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Research

Since 2002 Keaton Raphael Memorial has partnered with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

A large portion of Keaton Raphael Memorial’s mission is raising funding for research towards a cure for pediatric cancer, and over the years they have been successful in raising these funds through reaching out to the local community members to shave their heads in exchange for donations during the annual St. Balrick’s celebrations. KRM has created a strong partnership with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation over the years providing funding on a national and local level towards a cure.

With the money raised KRM has been able to keep some local toward three different research programs:

  • Raman Project Center for Biophotonics
  • U.C. Davis Pediatric Clinical Trials Program- read more about it HERE
  • Novel Targeted Therapy for Childhood Cancers

Video’s below extend into the Raman Project as well as the Novel Targeted Therapy for Childhood Cancers as both Dr. James Chan, Ph.D and Dr. Dr. Noriko Satake give you their explanation:


(Biophotonics; Raman Laser Technology – James Chan, Ph.D)

Learn more about Biophotonics and Raman Laser Technology


(Targeted Therapy Research – Dr. Noriko Satake)

Novel Targeted Therapy for Childhood Cancers

The goal of this project is to develop new treatments for childhood cancers (currently our focus is on acute lymphoblastic leukemia and neuroblastoma, the two most common cancers in children).  We have identified a promising new target gene in leukemia and neuroblastoma cells, which operates as an “on-off switch” for a protein that regulates cell growth.  We are developing a new drug to “switch off” the gene to stop cancer cells from growing.  This method is called targeted therapy.  If successful, our targeted therapy will also allow delivery of cancer treatments directly to leukemia or neuroblastoma cells, limiting the harm caused to healthy cells, and reducing the negative side effects of conventional therapy.  Furthermore, by adjusting the method we use to “switch off” the gene and also by finding something unique about each patient’s tumor cells, we can develop custom-made treatments for individual patients.

We have demonstrated that switching off the gene using a silencing method reduced the growth of leukemia and neuroblastoma cells in cell cultures.  We recently presented the results of our experiments at three national medical conferences: American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting, and The Translational Science 2013 Meeting, where we received a Scholars Abstract Award for our poster.

Noriko Satake M.D.

In the last 20 years, only two new drugs have been approved that were specifically developed to treat children with cancer. Now there are three. On March 10, 2015 the FDA approved this new drug to treat high-risk neuroblastoma, making it available not only through a clinical trial, but for all kids with this aggressive childhood cancer. Read more about this amazing breakthrough:

http://www.stbaldricks.org/blog/post/breaking-news-the-fda-approves-childhood-cancer-drug

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm437460.htm