Feinstein Institute to Receive $50,000 Grant to Support Treatment of Childhood Cancer

Grant supports resources to establish a new therapy program to treat neuroblastoma

Manhasset, NY – The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research announced today it will receive a $50,000 grant aimed at providing resources to establish a new MIBG therapy program to treat neuroblastoma. MIBG is a therapy that uses a radioactive molecule to target neuroblastoma, a tumor that affects nerve tissue.

Neuroblastoma is the most common type of cancer in infants – usually children age five or younger. Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body. Some forms of neuroblastoma go away on their own, while others may require intensive treatments. High-risk neuroblastoma is a subtype of neuroblastoma – MIBG is used as a treatment for this subtype only.

MIBG therapy has been shown to help children with relapsed neuroblastoma and is now being used in newly diagnosed high risk patients. Children with high-risk neuroblastoma receive chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and tumor-specific antibody therapy as part of their treatment. Despite this intense course of therapy, survival is still only about 60 percent. MIBG is a radioactive molecule that is taken up by neuroblastoma. It has been used for decades in the diagnosis of neuroblastoma, but is now being delivered in much higher doses as a form of targeted radiation treatment for the disease. High-dose MIBG has been shown to be effective in treatment of relapsed and refractory neuroblastoma. With additional clinical research in high-risk neuroblastoma, it is possible that MIBG will become part of the standard of care for the disease.  However, it must be delivered in a radiation-safe room with nursing and other services familiar with handling radioactivity.

The significant infrastructure needed to safely administer high-dose MIBG has resulted in a very limited number of hospitals in the US capable of delivering it to children, with none using it routinely in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state area. By supporting the development of an MIBG program at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is directly facilitating the delivery of a cutting edge treatment to more children near their homes.

“With support from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York is working to become one of the few institutions across the country with the ability to deliver this novel treatment. Through this endeavor, Cohen Children’s will be able to offer access to more trials and treatments for children with high-risk neuroblastoma,” said Jonathan D. Fish, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and a physician at the children’s hospital. “This undertaking would not have been possible without the support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and the donors that make their incredible work possible, and we are incredibly thankful to them.”

The grant was awarded by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven and donor-centered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research. The grant is one of 39 infrastructure grants awarded as part of the Foundation’s fall grant cycle, totaling more than $2.2 million in pediatric oncology research.

About The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Headquartered in Manhasset, NY, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is home to international scientific leaders in many areas including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sepsis, human genetics, pulmonary hypertension, leukemia, neuroimmunology, and medicinal chemistry. The Feinstein Institute, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, ranks in the top 6th percentile of all National Institutes of Health grants awarded to research centers. For more information, visit www.FeinsteinInstitute.org.

Media Contact:
Emily Ng