The St. Baldrick's Foundation – SU2C Pediatric Cancer Dream Team is a collaboration between pediatric cancer researchers in the largely disparate disciplines of cancer genomics and immunotherapeutics. The team will focus on developing new, targeted immunotherapeutics for the most difficult-to-cure childhood cancers.
New classes of therapeutics are needed to improve survival of children with cancer and decrease the physical, emotional, and financial life-altering costs of curative therapies. The Team has used new technologies in the field of cancer genomics, epigenetics and proteomics to discover and validate new targets for immunotherapy. They have built new antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates and CAR T cells to attack these targets. The team has innovated in developing new immunotherapies, discovering basic mechanisms of effectiveness (or lack thereof) in both antibody and cellular engineering, and developed novel methods to monitor clinical effectiveness and toxicity. The team has opened 25 clinical trials and have treated 688 pediatric patients with cancers that have resisted treatment. They demonstrated the potency of immunotherapy against acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), as well as defined mechanisms for how these cancers cells develop resistance. They have also made progress against childhood solid cancers, with many emerging therapeutics just entering the clinics, or scheduled to enter testing over the next one to three years.