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St. Jude creates $5.5 million endowment for cancer research to be held by the hospital CEO
Date:8/2/2013

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has earmarked $5.5 million for the creation of the Donald Pinkel Endowed Chair of Pediatric Cancer Treatment, which has been granted by the ALSAC and St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors.

The endowment, among the largest of its kind in the country, honors the hospital's first director and will be held by the sitting St. Jude CEO. Dr. William E. Evans, the present St. Jude director and CEO, is its first designee. The endowment provides support for the CEO's research and academic programs.

"This endowment illustrates the importance of research being pursued from all levels at St. Jude," Evans said. "All St. Jude CEOs have remained actively engaged in research to discover, innovate and advance cure rates."

Evans' work focuses on better understanding the genomic basis of childhood cancers and developing individualized approaches to cancer treatment. This involves the translation of pharmacogenomic discoveries into personalized treatments for pediatric cancers.

Evans said that St. Jude owes its institutional focus and relentless spirit to Pinkel. A medical doctor, Pinkel challenged the standard 1960s treatment for childhood cancer with significant results.

Despite often-strident disagreement from many in the scientific and medical community, Pinkel developed an unconventional approach to treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common pediatric cancer. His revolutionary Total Therapy regimen, which he divided into a series of studies, combined multiple anticancer drugs with radiation treatment.

At a time when survival was estimated at 4 percent, the Total Therapy approach achieved a 50 percent survival rate and drove important improvements in treating both childhood and adult cancers. Total Therapy also served as the foundation for future St. Jude innovations and contributions to cancer research and treatment. Among them has been a steady increase in ALL sur
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Contact: Summer Freeman
summer.freeman@stjude.org
901-595-3061
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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