Local Childhood Cancer Research Protocols Supported with Grant

January 28, 2009

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A grant in the amount of $52,333 has been awarded to Wake Forest University School of Medicine by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to help run childhood cancer research protocols.

The grant will fund the hiring of a new employee whose primary responsibility will be to open new research protocols for children with cancer. Running these research protocols correctly requires a lot of paperwork and data management, and physicians usually don't have time to handle those duties. The grant will allow the physicians to focus on patient care.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research. The School of Medicine is one of 28 institutions to receive funding as part of St. Baldrick’s fall 2008 grants that totaled more than $2.4 million. The grants are intended to help institutions treat more children on clinical trials or provide resources to make more research possible.

Thomas W. McLean, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine, applied for the grant and took part last fall in a local St. Baldrick’s fundraiser by getting his head shaved.

“Research protocols are the main way we've been able to make such significant advances in pediatric cancer over the years,” said McLean. “This grant really is about continuing those advances right here at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. I decided to have my head shaved for the local St. Baldrick's fundraiser because it’s a great cause and a great organization. Plus, it gave me a healthy dose of empathy for my patients, most of whom lose their hair from chemotherapy that I prescribe.”

St. Baldrick’s began as a challenge between friends and has expanded into the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research. St. Baldrick’s donors and volunteers made possible more than $15 million in funding for childhood cancer research in 2008 alone.

“Our volunteers and donors give hope to children and families touched by this dreadful disease,” said Kathleen Ruddy, executive director of St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “Their passion and dedication to the cause turn that hope into reality and have helped make grants like these possible.”

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation coordinates worldwide head-shaving events, with volunteer “shavees” raising money to support childhood cancer research. Since 2000, head-shaving events have taken place in 18 countries and 48 U.S. states, raising more than $51 million and shaving more than 73,000 heads.

For more information about St. Baldrick’s, please call 1-888-899-BALD or visit www.StBaldricks.org.


Media Relations

Bonnie Davis: bdavis@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-1597

Mark Wright: news@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-4587