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Top Doctors and Researchers Headline Paws for a Cure Research Symposium to Seek Cures for Cancers Shared by Dogs and Kids


The V Foundation for Cancer Research and Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Join as Sponsors

WASHINGTON, DC [October 5, 2018] — Veterinary, pediatric, research, and pharma leaders are speaking during the Canines-N-Kids Foundation’s Paws for a Cure Research Symposium being held on November 12-13, 2018 at the Merck Research Laboratories in Boston. The final agenda explores ways these medical research communities can collaborate to speed cancer drug development for cancers shared by kids and pet dogs. In addition, the V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which coordinates cancer research efforts between leading scientists, clinicians and partners in the industry, have joined as Title Sponsor and Contributing Sponsor, respectively for the symposium.

“We have heavy hitters lined up to speak during Paws for a Cure—all prepared to discuss a unique opportunity to help children and pets overcome serious cancers that afflict both. We believe bringing together top-notch support from the V Foundation, together with Petco Foundation, Blue Buffalo and the Parker Institute, who are dedicated to helping one or the other, has real potential to accelerate progress for both kids and dogs with cancer,” explained Ulrike Szalay, founder and executive director, Canines-N-Kids Foundation, a nonprofit committed to promoting and funding research for comparative oncology that integrates efforts for the benefit of both kids and dogs with cancer.

Keynotes by Michael Kastan, M.D. Ph.D., Pediatric Oncologist, Executive Director of the Duke Cancer Institute and Board Member of the V Foundation, and Lee J. Helman, M.D., Pediatric Oncologist, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California; Head, Basic and Translational Research, Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, will set the stage for the event that includes several panels and presentations by top experts in the fields. Topics include:

  • Can human and pediatric oncology drug development be accelerated by integrating the canine patient?
  • Comparative Oncology Toolbox: Progress, Challenges, and Next Steps
  • Comparative Genomics: Advances and Precision Medicine
  • Advances in Comparative Immunology
  • Regulatory Environment and Bioethics
  • Courageous Warriors: Cancer Patients’ Perspectives
  • Comparative Imaging
  • Collaborations at Both Ends of the Leash: Examples in Ongoing Clinical Trials & Research
  • Infrastructure for Comparative Cancer Research and Complementing for Collaboration
  • Challenges in Drug Development & the Integration of the Canine Cancer Patient
  • Priorities for Accelerating Cancer Drug Development

With support from title sponsors, the V Foundation and the Petco Foundation in partnership with the Blue Buffalo Foundation, the symposium will convene experts to discuss advancing research in pediatric cancer treatments, including how to use comparative approaches to make progress in this field. The meeting will bring together pediatric oncologists; veterinary oncologists; translational research scientists in academia and in industry; pharma and biotechnology professionals in preclinical research, drug development, oncology and animal health; as well as nonprofits and other funders.

Both children and canine companions spontaneously develop a number of cancers with remarkable similarities. The challenges inherent in designing and implementing pediatric oncology clinical trials for the 16,000 children with cancer, coupled with only four percent of federal cancer research funding going towards pediatric cancer research, makes finding cures difficult. In addition, little pharmaceutical industry funding goes to pediatric cancer research and as a result only four new medications have been approved for the treatment of pediatric cancer in the last 30 years. For the six million dogs diagnosed with cancer in the US each year, the outlook is not much better. The Paws for a Cure Research Symposium continues the conversation of the integrations of drug development in pediatric and pet population to greatly accelerate the discovery of novel, more effective, less toxic treatments for these cancers.

The Symposium is also backed by the American Cancer Society, the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research, Boehringer Ingleheim Animal Health, Anivive and Applied Biomath, and The Parker Foundation. Admission is $949 for industry and $699 for academic/nonprofit attendees. Registration information, as well as featured speakers and topics can be found at http://www.pawsforacuresymposium.com/agenda.

About Canine-N-Kids Foundation

The Canines-N-Kids Foundation is about raising awareness of the cancers kids and beloved canines share in common, and closing the funding gap that has stood in the way of making meaningful progress. Canines-N-Kids is about collaboration and breaking down barriers that stand in the way of a breakthrough in canine and pediatric cancer. The goal is to bring together the best and brightest in pediatric and veterinary oncology, and to work creatively and constructively with others who share the mission to help canines and kids with cancer to beat their disease. www.caninesnkids.org

About the V Foundation for Cancer Research

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $200 million in cancer research grants nationwide. The V Foundation awards 100 percent of direct donations to cancer research and programs. The V Foundation’s endowment covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information on the V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.

About Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy brings together the best scientists, clinicians and industry partners to build a smarter and more coordinated cancer immunotherapy research effort.

The Parker Institute is an unprecedented collaboration between the country’s leading immunologists and cancer centers. The program started by providing institutional support to six academic centers, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford Medicine, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The institute also provides programmatic support for top immunotherapy investigators, including a group of researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Robert Schreiber, Ph.D., of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Nina Bhardwaj, M.D., Ph.D., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Phil Greenberg, M.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

The Parker Institute network also includes more than 40 industry and nonprofit partners, more than 60 labs and more than 300 of the nation’s top researchers focused on treating the deadliest cancers.

The goal is to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies capable of turning most cancers into curable diseases. The institute was created through a $250 million grant from The Parker Foundation.