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OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital wins $250,000 research grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Hyundai‘s nonprofit to award $10.25 million in the month of September; OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital has received $580,000 from Hope On Wheels since 2005

Hyundai Hope On Wheels and Portland-area Hyundai Dealers will today award OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital with a $250,000 Hope Grant to support research focused on laying the foundation for the concept of using dasatinib for patients with acute lymphoblastic lymphoma.

OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital is one of 41 recipients of Hope On Wheels’ 2012 Hyundai Hope Grants. In all, $10.25 million will be awarded in grants during the month of September in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

To improve the odds in the fight for a cure, Hope On Wheels raised its Hyundai Hope Grant award amount this year from $100,000 to $250,000. The month-long program marks Hope On Wheels’ largest research grant donation period to date. It will bring the total amount that the nonprofit has committed to childhood cancer to $57 million since it first began in 1998.

In its third annual September campaign, Hope On Wheels again opened its competitive grant program to all Children’s Oncology Group institutions. Every proposal received was reviewed by Hope On Wheels’ Medical Advisory Committee, comprising leading pediatric oncologists from around the country.

“As a physician-scientist, I have the rare pleasure to take the knowledge we gain in the research lab to advance the care of my patients. Dasatinib, a new drug used in the fight against cancer, has been shown to work very well in a small group of patients with a type of ALL known as Ph+ALL,” said Bill Chang, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator for the Hope Grant and assistant professor of pediatric hematology/oncology, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Dr. Chang also is a member of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

“In collaboration with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and the Children’s Oncology Group, we have been able to identify a new group of ALL that may also respond to the medication dasatinib. The essential research that will be funded by Hope on Wheels will establish the foundation to develop this drug in the treatment of a new group of patients with ALL. This has the potential to increase the types of patients with ALL to respond to treatment with dasatinib,” said Chang.

Each of the Hyundai Hope Grants will be presented to winning institutions at a signature Handprint Ceremony. This ceremony captures the colorful handprints of young cancer patients and places them on a white canvas and official 2012 Hope On Wheels lab coat. Every Handprint Ceremony celebrates the lives of the children faced with cancer and commemorates their brave battles with cancer.

“At Hyundai, our goal is for a child to never again have to hear the words ‘you have cancer’,” said John Krafcik, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “Through the support of our dealers, hospital partners, and online community, this goal is attainable as we join together for a cure. We congratulate and commend each institution for their important and life-changing work, and thank our supporters for their continued efforts.”

For more information on Hyundai Hope On Wheels and its efforts during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, please visit HyundaiHopeonWheels.org.

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