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Die Cura Placida – Children's Cancer Research Foundation introduces itself:

Our Goals:

The main goal of the endowment is the promotion of the development and application of targeted individualized healing procedures (curative targeted therapies) for children with blood illness and cancer, in particular with regard to protective treatment procedures and to avoiding undesired long-term effects from treatment. Of special importance is the promotion of means that further medical research and in conjunction with it improvement of treatments.

Long-term goals also include the development of cost-effective treatment methods in this area, so that these therapies can also be carried out in countries with less well developed medical infrastructures. Beyond this, the general living situation of children and young people with cancer should be improved.

While in Germany today about three of every four children with cancer can be healed, the healing rates are lower for certain subgroups of children with cancer and advanced states of cancer. Accordingly, in the case of bone tumors, only two out of three patients in the early stages of disease, or only 15% or fewer of patients with bone metastasis (sub-growth) or early relapses (repeated appearance of the disease) are healed.

The three ‘classic’ therapy forms for healing cancer are chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation one attempt to utilize the circumstance that in many types of cancer the cancerous tissue, due to its high mitotic index, is far more susceptible to the effects of certain cell toxins and high energy radiation than healthy tissue. Surgery removes cancer tissue. To make sure that all cancer cells are removed, healthy tissue is also removed at a safety distance around the tumor. Due to these particulars of the ‘classic’ cancer therapy forms, the survivors often suffer from mutilation, radiation damage, and long-term consequences of the toxic medications. Aside from the individual fate, this also has social significance. Since in the year 2010, one in every 250 adults between 15 and 45 years of age is a survivor of a childhood cancer, the undesired consequences of the therapies in an aging society can notably develop into a significant problem for the entire society.

The deciphering of the human genome allowed, especially with children, the identification of tumor-specific molecular signatures. High-throughput technologies these days make the identification of selective therapeutic target structures possible on the level of DNA, RNA, protein, and cellular function. With the help of DNA-micro-array technology, a set of tumor specific genes in children’s cancer cells could be identified, for example. On the basis for these results, new therapeutic and diagnostic possibilities are developed. In this endeavor, differing strategies are deployed to block the function of individual genes, to produce immune responses to the products of this gene, or also to derive new diagnostic approaches on the basis of tumor-specific markers.

Implementation Strategy
The endowment would like to promote research projects that, through the use of the new technologies, develop and improve targeted and individualized healing procedures (curative targeted therapies). Since these new types of therapy can combat the cancer cells in a much more targeted way than was previously possible, this approach clearly promises lesser side-effects and thus “gentler healing” than was previously available.

The endowment and the donors, for attaining the endowment goal, have decided to support current research projects at the Kinderklinik (children’s hospital) München Schwabing, since well-founded preliminary work has been performed there, both the researchers (among others, Prof. Dr. Burdach, Frau Prof. Dr. Behrends, and Drs. Nathrath, from von Lüttichau, and Richter) and the clinic have an excellent international reputation, and due to close international contacts there is very good foundation to transfer this knowledge abroad, for example to the USA, CIS, China, and the Arabic States.

The previous donations are momentum-generating funding for the research projects, which is why further financial support is urgently needed. Due to the excellent quality of the currently supported projects, it is guaranteed that the donations will be used in a purpose-oriented fashion.

As a matter of principle, support for other centers/research institutions within the framework of the endowment is also possible, and is sought provided the financial means are available and a strict test of the validity of the research projects can be evaluated positively. New donors can, in cooperation with the endowment, support other establishments in a targeted manner, if the donation amount is commensurate and if the project is compatible with the objectives of the endowment.

If the necessary resources for this are available, the endowment would also like to promote international knowledge exchange and the treatment of children with cancer beyond national boundaries.