Area group co-funds pledge to fight rare cancer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Focused Ultrasound Foundation and St. Baldrick's Foundation have announced a joint $115,000 pledge for research to fight diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
This cancer, also known as diffuse midline glioma, is an aggressive disease that forms in the brainstem of children typically between the ages of five and nine. There is no cure, and the average life expectancy after diagnosis is roughly one year. According to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, about 300 children are diagnosed with it every year.
The partnership will fund the St. Baldrick's Scholar Award given to Dr. Cheng-Chia Wu, assistant professor of radiation oncology at Columbia University, who is currently leading preclinical trials to treat the cancer.
"We are grateful to be working alongside St. Baldrick's to move the needle on finding a cure for this deadly disease," said Dr. Neal Kassell, a former neurosurgeon who founded the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is a Charlottesville-based organization that was established in 2006. St. Baldrick's Foundation is the largest charity funder of childhood cancer research grants.