KPF for Medulloblastoma Research
In 2006, when he was 9, Kevin was diagnosed with medulloblastoma - a malignant brain tumor. We quickly learned that brain tumors are the second most common pediatric cancer (behind leukemia) and account for a majority of cancer-related deaths in children. Unfortunately, the outcome for the most malignant brain tumors has not changed significantly in the past 30 years. Also, pediatric cancer treatment (like chemotherapy and radiation) lead to significant long-term disabilities in survivors, which affects their quality of life and ability to be successful.
Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in children and carries an overall initial survival rate of 75%. However, chances of survival after relapse are less than 20%, and become even less and less with each relapse. Kevin relapsed in 2009, 2012, 2015, and 2018. Finally, his cancer spread beyond his brain and led to his unfortunate passing on February 21, 2020.
In honor of Kevin’s journey, we are raising money to support a research project at CHOC initiated by Kevin’s most recent neuro-oncologist, Dr. Ashley Plant. In this project, the team takes extra brain tumor tissue from consenting patients diagnosed with medulloblastoma and grows the tissue in cell culture and in mice models. This allows them to learn about the tumors and test novel drug therapies that they hope will ultimately change the course of treatment of this disease. They have already identified some drug compounds that effectively kill tumors in culture that were not previously known to treat medulloblastoma. We hope to help them expand those results and ultimately start a clinical trial for treatment of relapsed medulloblastoma.
All of this wonderful research requires time and money. We hope to raise money to help Dr. Plant and her team, so they can continue learning and testing, and eventually translate treatments discovered in the lab to treatments for patients, especially treatments that decrease the risk of long-term side effects.
Thank you for supporting the memory of Kevin by helping provide hope for children and young adults like him in the future. Donations of any amount are gladly welcome.
In addition to (or instead of) donating money, please consider donating platelets or blood to CHOC or your nearest pediatric hospital. It is not unusual for cancer patients to need blood product support. In the last several months of his life, Kevin required many platelet and blood transfusions as his body was unable to keep up production. There were a couple times when the hospital did not have platelets to give Kevin even though his counts were dangerously low. We believe this may have led to him having complications such as a brain bleed that cost him the ability to communicate in the last weeks of his life. You can contact the CHOC Blood Donor Center at (714) 509-8339 or learn more on their web site at choc.org/programs-services/blood-donor-services