My Friends for Life News

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Status of Research supported by the Friends for Life at Children's Hospital Boston (Dr. Folkman) 11/2005

Surgeon-in-Chief, Emeritus
Director, Vascular Biology Program
Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery
Professor of Cell Biology

Judah Folkman, M.D.
Department of Surgery
Children's Hospital Boston
Karp Family Research Laboratories 12.129
Vascular Biology Program
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5737
(617) 919-2346
(617) 739-5891 (FAX)

November 18, 2005

Michael Dodd, M.D.
Friends for Life

Dear Dr. Dodd:

I am very grateful to you and all of the parents of the Friends for Life who have contributed such generous support for research in neuroblastoma and in its early diagnosis by angiogenesis-based biomarkers.

We will begin immediately. Our plan is to establish a fund at Children's Hospital, which will be entitled, "Development of Angiogenesis-Based Biomarkers to Diagnose Early Recurrence of Neuroblastoma". The fund will be in the Vascular Biology Program at Children's Hospital.

We will work closely together with Dr. Lisa Diller and her colleagues (Dr.Suzanne Shusterman) at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

We will hire one post-doctoral fellow to work on this project full time.

The next step will be for us to apply to the internal review boards at Children's Hospital and the Dana Farber to obtain a urine sample (for metalloproteinase) and at a very small blood sample to measure the platelet enhancement proteome and well as the level of circulating bone-marrow derived endothelial cells.

We will also try to obtain these samples from children who are in the hospital for illnesses other than cancer.

Our goal will be to try to determine if it is possible to detect any tumor recurrence months or years before the tumor can be detected by any other method, including imaging methods or catecholamines. In fact, in catecholamine biomarker will be used as a comparison to the angiogenesis-based biomarkers because we know that some recurrence neuroblastomas stop making catecholamines.

If we can show that our angiogenesis-based biomarkers will rise steadily in a child whose tumor is recurring, but will remain at a normal level or a stable level in a patient whose tumor is not recurring, then we may go back to the internal review boards with a plan to treat the rising angiogenesis-based biomarker with relatively non-toxic angiogenesis inhibitors.

I will keep you up to date on how this project goes.

Please convey to the other parents who came to visit the lab last week and to the Friends for Life membership my deepest appreciation for their support.

Sincererely yours,

Judah Folkman, M.D.


Cc: Bonnie Brodowski
Giannoula Klement, M.D.
Joan Romanition, Principal Gifts Officer


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