Press Release: Pedal the Cause Funds Eight New Cancer Research Projects

ST. LOUIS (July 21, 2017) – Research on upper gastrointestinal cancer, breast cancer and leukemia are among the eight newly-funded projects announced by Siteman Cancer Center and St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation earlier this month. Pedal the Cause is proud to be the major contributor of funds for these grants, which seed some of the most promising and innovative ideas in cancer research. These grants were made possible by the support of the almost 4,000 Pedal the Cause participants who donated $3,300,029 to Siteman Cancer Center and Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 2016. To date, Pedal the Cause has donated over $15.8 million to these beneficiaries, funding 92 cancer research projects – 64 adult and 28 pediatric.

One ongoing project, led by Jason Mills, PhD, MD, is working to identify the genes that may start cancers in the stomach, colon, liver and pancreas, to find drugs targeting those genes to stop cancer before it starts. These gastrointestinal cancers are among the most common and deadliest.

Another project, led by Michael Rettig, PhD, is aiming to develop a new method to harvest healthy blood stem cells from the bone marrow of donors to use as transplants for patients with leukemia. This new method may also be useful is getting leukemia cells out of the bone marrow and into the blood, where chemotherapy drugs are more effective.

“Our patients are counting on us,” says Dr. Timothy Eberlein, MD, Director, Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor; and Bixby Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine. “That’s why we’re working so hard to bring better treatments to patients faster. Research support is essential to making that happen. We’re grateful to the Pedal the Cause community; their sponsors, participants and donors for their hard work, fundraising and generosity. Because of their support, Siteman is able to fund these groundbreaking research projects that will move us to the next level of cancer prevention and treatment.”

“In this period of diminished federal funding where support typically gets funneled to already proven concepts, many potentially new ideas get pushed aside,” says Pedal the Cause Executive Director, Jay Indovino. “After seven years of funding new ideas, we are beginning to see real advancements in immunotherapy, genomics and individualized treatment that is changing how doctors treat patients. It is truly exciting, and all of those who contributed to Pedal the Cause in 2016, and since our beginning in 2010, have played an important role in these advancements.”

More information about Pedal the Cause funded research, including these 8 newly-funded projects can be found here.

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