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Boeheim Foundation awards Upstate Medical $100K for pediatric-cancer research

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE — The Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation has awarded the Foundation for Upstate Medical University a grant of $100,000 for pediatric-cancer research.

Upstate Medical announced the grant in a news release on its website. Its foundation is its fund-raising arm.

Established in 2009 by the Syracuse University men’s basketball head coach and his wife, the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation works to help Central New York children in need and to provide support for eliminating cancer through research and advocacy.

Researchers will use the funding to study potential new treatments for children with cancer, the fourth leading cause of death in children, Upstate Medical said in the news release.

“The Boeheim Foundation is pleased to support such vital research that holds the hope of better treatment for children with cancer,” Juli Boeheim said in the release.  “To be able to support this research right here in our own backyard, at Upstate Medical University, makes this grant that much more meaningful.”

The Boeheim Foundation made the contribution to support two studies.

One will investigate new treatment options for children with osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma, two bone cancers that occur mainly in adolescents, according to Upstate Medical.

The other study will look at ways to reduce the adverse effects of radiation treatments for childhood cancer on bone growth and development.

The medical school is “grateful” for the support, Dr. Timothy Damron, a member of the Upstate faculty who will lead the research efforts, said in the news release. 

“This support provides us with the opportunity to begin looking at new treatments for curing cancer in children, and ensuring that these treatments enable them to live long healthy lives,” Damron said.

Osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma are two common bone cancers that can strike any age, but they are mainly seen in adolescents.

To try and increase the survival rate of those battling these cancers, researchers will attempt to find a way to block cellular signals so tumor cells cannot influence nearby bone-marrow cells into spreading the cancer, rather than fighting it.

Damron, professor of orthopedic surgery, cell and developmental biology and neuroscience and physiology, and Bryan Marguiles, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and cell and developmental biology, are leading the research team, Upstate Medical said.

In the other study, researchers will address the radiation effects on a child’s bones.  Megan Oest, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and cell and developmental biology, will lead that study, the medical school said.


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PHOTO CAPTION: A grant of $100,000 from the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation is funding research at Upstate Medical University on developing new cancer treatments for children. The researchers include (from left) Bryan Marguiles, Megan Oest, and Dr. Timothy Damron (photo courtesy of Upstate Medical University).



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