Grants - Virginia - Designated Grants - 2019

William Petersen, M.D.

Funded by the V Foundation’s Virginia Vine event, in honor of WWE Connor’s Cure

Cure rates for children with cancer are improving, but cancer still comes back for many kids after finishing therapy. When cancer comes back it is more difficult to cure, and new treatments are needed to help these patients. The best way to develop new treatments is to treat patients with new therapies while collecting detailed information about how they tolerate the treatment and if it gets rid of their cancer – this is called being treated on a clinical trial, a research study designed to learn about how new treatments work for patients. These studies that involve new treatments are usually only offered at large hospitals that are connected to medical schools, so many patients are sent away from their homes to receive these treatments. Others choose to stay closer to home and not receive the newest therapies for their cancer. Often, there are research studies closer to home than their doctors realize. Getting this information to the doctors in our region would help make sure patients receive the newest therapies for their cancers while staying close to home. This grant would allow us to travel to nearby medical practices to tell the doctors about the new therapies that we offer at UVA as part of clinical trials, especially treatments that are being developed that allow the patient’s own immune system fight their cancer (called “immunotherapy”). Spreading this information will hopefully increase the number of patients that are treated on these research studies, and help cure more kids of their cancer.