We Are Research!

We collaborate, idealize, and produce faster results. We are the highest-rated cancer charity. We conduct science on all types of childhood cancers.

Fast

Nimble

Efficient

Safe

Responsive

About Our Research

In 2005, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation decided to aggressively pursue a measurable change in the way pediatric cancer research was approached and funded by forming the Sunshine Project.

Through the establishment of the Sunshine Project, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation has developed a business model unlike any other in the field of pediatric cancer research. Capitalizing on the strengths of researchers from a variety of scientific fields, we have streamlined the process of protocol development in the hopes of delivering more personalized medicine to children with cancer.

Through the Sunshine Project, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation has launched several clinical trials and many new combinations of drugs and therapies have been, and continue to be, tested. The treatment options being discovered through the Sunshine Project are bringing great promise for children who have not experienced positive results under the standard treatment protocol.

Mission of Our Research

The NPCF created and governs a collaborative research model focusing on translational studies and phase 0,1, and 2 clinical trials addressing all types of pediatric cancers. We have a consortium of 20+ hospitals called the Sunshine Project. 1. The goal of the Sunshine Project is to leverage collaboration, both scientific and philanthropic, to identify promising, less toxic, novel therapies to treat and eliminate childhood cancer. Through these partnerships, top pediatric cancer specialists are able to collaborate, resulting in the fast-tracking of new treatment options into clinical trials. NPCF’s research is affecting treatment protocols nationwide and giving hope to patients and families.

Our attributes: Plug and play process. No bureaucracy. Highly-rated by Charity Navigator. Streamlined. Efficient. Quick. Effective. Collaborative. If you’re an individual, organization, a like-minded foundation, a company, a scientist, or a healthcare system, consider joining us. 

Reviewed, Vetted, and Governed

Reviewed

Vetted

Governed

The governance of the Sunshine Project is a dual-track model with reviews and approval by physicians and the NPCF Board of Directors. The Sunshine Project has established multiple Medical, Clinical Review, and Oversight Committees to oversee all research projects. Each trial within the Sunshine Project is reviewed, vetted, and governed throughout the duration of the trial. After the medical team’s vet the science, the NPCF Board of Directors reviews and approves all projects via an extensive governance model. Our team has a strong track record of taking promising research ideas and turning them into clinical trials quicker than anyone else. 

The committees meet to ensure all clinical research conducted or coordinated by NPCF is scientifically well designed, responsibly managed, appropriately reported, and protects the rights and welfare of the children that participate in the clinical research.

Impact of the Sunshine Project

25+

$25 million dedicated to pediatric cancer research

20+

A coalition of 20+ leading pediatric hospitals nationwide

37

37 research projects yielding amazing results

Our Partner Institutions

  • Children’s Hospital Colorado
  • Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
  • Children’s Medical Center Dallas
  • Children’s National Medical Center
  • Cleveland Clinic Children’s
  • Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
  • Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center
  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Levine Cancer Institute
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • Montefiore Medical Center
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Nemours Jacksonville
  • Nemours Orlando
  • Nemours/A.I duPont Hospital for Children
  • Primary Children’s Hospital
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of Florida
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Miami
  • University of North Carolina
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Washington University in St. Louis

Research Leadership Team

Damon Reed

Damon Reed

Sunshine Project Leader

Moffitt Cancer Center
Read Bio

David Frazer

David Frazer

CEO, National Pediatric Cancer Foundation
Tiffany Smith

Tiffany Smith

Director of Research
Melissa Dunkel

Melissa Dunkel

Co-founder/At Large/Emeritus
Alex Sullivan

Alex Sullivan

Chairman of the Board
Ricky Huff

Ricky Huff

Chairman of Research Program Committee

Full Research Team

Tom C. Badgett

Tom C. Badgett

Sunshine Project Site PI

University of Kentucky
Read Bio

Julio Barredo

Julio Barredo

Sunshine Project Site PI

University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Read Bio

Scott Borinstein

Scott Borinstein

Sunshine Project Site PI/Vice Chair, Education and Pathway Development

Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
Read Bio

Emi Caywood

Emi Caywood

Sunshine Project Site PI

Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children
Read Bio

Carrye Cost

Carrye Cost

Sunshine Project Site PI/Vice-Chair, Novel Initiatives

Children’s Hospital Colorado
Read Bio

Girish Dhall

Girish Dhall

Sunshine Project Site PI

University of Alabama
Read Bio

Douglas Fair

Douglas Fair

Sunshine Project Site PI

University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute
Read Bio

Jonathan Gill

Jonathan Gill

Sunshine Project Site PI

MD Anderson Cancer Center
Read Bio

Richard Gorlick

Richard Gorlick

Sunshine Project Site PI

Johns Hopkins University
Read Bio

Mas Hayashi

Mas Hayashi

Sunshine Project Site PI

Children’s Hospital Colorado
Read Bio

Eugene Hwang

Eugene Hwang

Sunshine Project Site PI/Vice Chair, Neuro-oncology

Children’s National Medical Center
Read Bio

Michael Isakoff

Michael Isakoff

Sunshine Project Site PI/Chair, Protocol Committee

Connecticut Children’s Hospital
Read Bio

Howard Katzenstein

Howard Katzenstein

Sunshine Project Site PI

Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville
Read Bio

Joanne Lagmay

Joanne Lagmay

Sunshine Project Site PI

University of Florida
Read Bio

David Loeb

David Loeb

Sunshine Project Site PI

Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
Read Bio

Leo Mascarenhas

Leo Mascarenhas

Sunshine Project Site PI

Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
Read Bio

Jonathan Metts

Jonathan Metts

Sunshine Project Site PI/Vice-Chair, Central Operations

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Read Bio

Duane Mitchell

Duane Mitchell

Chair, Preclinical Research

University of Florida
Read Bio

Ramamoorthy Nagasubramanian

Ramamoorthy Nagasubramanian

Sunshine Project Site PI

Nemours Children’s Hospital
Read Bio

Javier Oesterheld

Javier Oesterheld

Sunshine Project Site PI

Levine Children’s Hospital
Read Bio

Christine Pratilas

Christine Pratilas

Sunshine Project Site PI

Johns Hopkins University
Read Bio

Damon Reed

Damon Reed

Sunshine Project Leader

Moffitt Cancer Center
Read Bio

Eric Sandler

Eric Sandler

Sunshine Project Site PI

Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville
Read Bio

Elias Sayour

Elias Sayour

Sunshine Project Site PI

University of Florida
Read Bio

Bhuvana Setty

Bhuvana Setty

Sunshine Project Site PI

Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Read Bio

Patrick Thompson

Patrick Thompson

Sunshine Project Site PI/Vice Chair, Immuno-oncology Initiatives

University of North Carolina
Read Bio

Matteo Trucco

Matteo Trucco

Sunshine Project Site PI/Vice Chair, External Operations

Cleveland Clinic
Read Bio

Lars Wanger

Lars Wanger

Sunshine Project Site PI/Vice Chair, External Operations

Duke Health
Read Bio

Daniel Weiser

Daniel Weiser

Sunshine Project Site PI/ Vice-Chair, Novel Initiaties

Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
Read Bio

TBD

TBD

Sunshine Project Site PI

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Research Projects and Trials

Ewing Sarcoma

Phase I Trial of the LSD1 inhibitor sp-2577 in patients with relapsed or refractory Ewing Sarcoma

Synopsis: Ewing sarcoma is an aggressive form of cancer that typically presents as a bone tumor in children and young adults. Approximately 20-30% of patients will be diagnosed with a metastatic form of the disease that unfortunately does not respond to systematic chemotherapy. LSD1 is a protein found in tumor cells and plays an important role in tumor cell growth and survival. Researchers with the Sunshine Project are testing the Seclidemstat (SP-2577), which is an oral LSD1 inhibitor designed to block the activity of LSD1, which may, in turn, slow or stop the growth of tumor cells.

Glioma

Phase I Trial of the Adoptive Cellular Therapy following Dose-Intensified Temozolomide in Newly-diagnosed Pediatric High-grade Gliomas (ACTION)

Synopsis: High-Grade Gliomas are a childhood brain tumor with no standard care. We are bringing Duane Mitchell’s world-class research to patients by taking their tumors and immune system out and training the immune system to fight their tumor in his lab.  Then the immune system is infused back into the patient after radiation and chemotherapy.

Osteosarcoma

Phase IB/II Study to Evaluate the Safety, Feasibility, and Efficacy of Nivolumab or Nivolumab in Combination with Azacitidine in Patients with Recurrent, Resectable Osteosarcoma

Synopsis: Relapsed osteosarcoma has a dismal prognosis. The main predictors of survival after osteosarcoma recurrence include the time to first recurrence, disease burden, and ability to achieve complete surgical remission after recurrence. Immunotherapy is a potentially promising option for the treatment of osteosarcoma. An even more promising strategy is to enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatment by combing immunotherapy with Nivolumab with Azacitidine, a cytotoxic agent that prevents cells from reproducing or growing.

Recurrent/Refractory Sarcoma

Phase II Study of nab-Paclitaxel in Combination with Gemcitabine for Treatment of Recurrent/Refractory Sarcoma in Teenagers and Young Adults

Synopsis: This trial will look at this combination of drugs and their ability to prevent the formation or growth of tumors in teenagers and young adults with relapsed or refractory osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and other soft tissue sarcomas.

Rhabdomyosarcoma

Phase I Trial of the Evolutionary inspired therapy for newly diagnosed, metastatic, Fusion Positive Rhabdomyosarcoma

Synopsis: A clinical trial that offers patients the option of choosing between conventional chemotherapy or one of 3 evolutionary-based treatment models. The first two therapy models, first strike and second strike, both of which have the goal of making the cancer extinct. The third option, adaptive therapy, has the goal of containing the cancer versus eliminating it. By containing the cancer, the goal is for long term control of the cancer at an acceptable size while maintaining a high quality of life.

Sarcomas

Phase I Trial of the Blood-based biomarkers for minimal residual disease detection in pediatric sarcomas

A cutting edge project that will collect blood samples from patients diagnosed with sarcoma, to test whether the detection of cell-free plasma tumor DNA (ptDNA) in the patient’s blood can better predict recurrence of disease when a patient is in radiographic remission. Having a blood-based test that can detect minimal residual disease in sarcomas can make an immediate impact as well as a lasting future impact on how we treat sarcomas.

Our Mission

National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer. 

Top Rated Charity

The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation has received a perfect 100% score for financial health and transparency and is the top-rated childhood cancer charity in the United States by Charity Navigator.

Contact Us

5550 West Executive Drive, Suite #200, Tampa, FL 33609

813-269-0955

EIN# 59-3097333

CFC# 43259

ADA Compliance Statement     Disclaimer / Registrations / Copyright Statement     Privacy Notice     Terms and Conditions   

© National Pediatric Cancer Foundation 2019.
All Rights Reserved.