About NPCF

The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer. Our focus is to fund research to fast-track less toxic, more targeted treatments by partnering with 22 leading hospitals nationwide.


A majority of cancer research focuses on adult treatments and is done within the walls of individual institutions. In contrast, we fund clinical trials and COLLABORATE with a network of cutting-edge hospitals across the nation to fast track less-toxic, more targeted treatments. All to increase the survival rate of children battling cancer.

For 26 years and counting, the NPCF has been the one shining light for children who are fighting cancer. We have donated millions of dollars to research and our clinical trials are yielding amazing discoveries that are saving many children’s lives.


Research. It’s what we fund. It’s all we do.

It’s the only way to find a cure.

  • 88% of total expenses are directly allocated to program services
  • 4-star rated charity by Charity Navigator and a Gold Level by GuideStar for sound fiscal management and received accreditation from the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. These are the highest ratings a nonprofit can receive.
  • Donated 1.8 million dollars to the Sunshine Project during the 2017 fiscal year
  • Upcoming projects for 2017 through our Sunshine Project initiative that will focus on Brain Tumors, Ewing Sarcoma and a drug combined with the promise to treat multiple types of pediatric cancer.
  • Clinical Research: Conducting multiple Phase 1 clinical trials at 24 hospitals nationwide
  • Pediatric Total Cancer Care Program: Blood and tissue banking program to further personalized medicine for children
  • Translational Research: NPCF laboratory at Moffitt Cancer Center is rapidly evaluating agents for Phase I trials


In 1991, two mothers faced every parent’s worst nightmare. Their children were diagnosed with cancer. Melissa Helms and Risa Tramel met at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa while their infant daughters were undergoing cancer treatments. Through research advancements, both of their daughters survived and are now healthy young adults. However, through this experience, Melissa and Risa were inspired to continue fighting this disease. Together, they founded the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to fund research that will lead to the elimination of childhood cancer worldwide.

For the first 15 years, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation funded seed grants at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, All Children’s Research Institute in St. Petersburg, the University of Florida in Gainesville, and the University of Miami School of Medicine.

In 2005, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation formed the Sunshine Project, an innovative collaboration with one goal: to bring together the nation’s top doctors and researchers to fast-track new treatments and increase the survival rate for children battling cancer. Through the establishment of the Sunshine Project, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation has developed a business model that capitalizes on the strengths of researchers from all different fields of science and streamlined the process to accelerate the development of new treatments.

Best of all, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation has proven that this collaborative model works. Since 2005, we have funded four Phase 1 Clinical Trials. New compounds have been, and continue to be, tested and hold great promise for children who have not experienced positive results under the standard treatment protocol. In 2016, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation re-branded and updated its name to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. In the past 26 years, we have proudly donated $13 million to researchers and have funded 11 initiatives since 2005.

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