In the last several years, research of medulloblastoma has progressed with the discovery that these tumors can be divided into molecular subgroups. However, as the incidence of medulloblastoma in children is low – with roughly 200 children diagnosed each year in the U.S. – it remains challenging for pediatric oncologists to research the disease. In addition, the inherent difficulties of treating a CNS (central nervous system) tumor increase the challenge of research.
Despite these challenges, doctors and scientists, assisted by patients and their families, continue to work diligently toward finding new and more effective therapies for children medulloblastoma and other brain tumors. While progress has been slow, we continue to make advances in understanding the biology of these challenging cancers. While we are working to better understand this diseas, we are simultaneously evaluating new drugs in clinical trials to determine whether or not they should be used in the treatment of medulloblastoma.
Parents of pediatric cancer patients are the advocacy voice of their children. It has been through the initiatives of parent advocates that progress has been realized in many types of childhood cancer treatment. In the early 1970s, a group of parents of children with cancer formed Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (now the American Childhood Cancer Organization) and lobbied Congress for childhood cancer research funding. Their efforts led to:
- an increase in awareness of the devastation of childhood cancer
- designated pediatric oncology program funding within the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
- the inclusion of pediatric oncology language in President Nixon's National Cancer Act of 1971
- the development of information and support programs within Candlelighters.
The Cure Starts Now is dedicated to finding the homerun cure for cancer by focusing on one of the rarest, most aggressive forms of cancer. Believing in more than just awareness, They have funded over $10 million in cancer research, resulting in 59 cutting edge research grants in 6 countries since 2007.