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$1,200,000 Awarded to Fund Research 2022

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In 2022, CancerFree KIDS invested $1.2 million in grants to cutting-edge research projects for the first time.  These 21 research grants awarded at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, OH) represent the most promising new ideas in childhood cancer research today.


CancerFree KIDS invests in research in its earliest stages – the kind of high-risk/high-reward research that is needed to make the big strides needed to move the field forward and give our kids a chance.  This is the kind of research that is nearly impossible to find funding for – so ideas often go untried.  Several of CancerFree KIDS’ funded research projects crossed huge milestones in the last year:

Another $15,000,000 in Private Investments


One of three start-up companies founded as a result of CancerFree KIDS-funded research - Kurome Therapeutics - had a huge year – closing a $15 million round of funding from private investors. The target for Kurome technology was developed by CancerFree KIDS grant recipient, Daniel Starczynowski, PhD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital around 2013 and has the potential to promise radical advancements in the fight against AML and other forms of cancer.

2 New Drugs Approved

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(From left to right: Michael Absalon, Lee Grimes, Brian Weiss, Nancy Ratner)

Two new drugs were approved by the FDA for use in children with cancer.  To put into perspective how significant this is, one needs to understand the drug development landscape for pediatric cancer drugs.


Hundreds of drugs have been approved for adult cancers but only 34 drugs have EVER been approved for use in children with cancer. Most of the drugs currently in use are the same ones we were using in the 50’s and 60’s. 


Vyxeos was approved for pediatric AML relapse, based on the work of CancerFree KIDS grant recipients Lee Grimes and Michael Absalon and is now being tested in newly diagnosed patients with AML in a national study. Vyxeos had previously been approved only for adult patients.


Selumetinib was approved by the FDA for life-threatening tumors associated with neurofibromatosis – the result of the work of CancerFree KIDS grant recipients Nancy Ratner and Brian Weiss.  Selumetinib is one of 6 drugs EVER to be approved for first use in children with cancer (developed specifically for children).

Accelerator Award


CancerFree KIDS introduces the new Accelerator Award category, open to past recipients of a CancerFree KIDS New Idea Award whose research shows incredible promise. These grants aim to advance their research more quickly toward improving treatments for children with cancer. The intent is to fill the funding gap between an initial study that shows great potential, and the chance to publish and apply for additional funding from the National Cancer Institute or other funding sources. In this inaugural year, CancerFree KIDS is awarding three Accelerator Awards. 

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