Developing CD47 Antibody Therapy for Children’s Cancer

A research team at Stanford University led by Drs. Kathleen Sakamoto and Irv Weissman has received a $1.37 million grant from CureSearch titled “Development of CD47 Monoclonal Antibody Therapy for Pediatric Tumors.”

In a healthy person, when the body makes abnormal cells or cells become old, the body’s scavenger cells, called macrophages, eliminate them in a process defined as programmed cell removal. When a person has cancer, the abnormal cells are not eliminated by the macrophages. Researchers under the leadership of Dr. Irv Weissman discovered that pediatric brain tumor, leukemia, bone tumor and neuroblastoma cells overproduce a cell surface protein known as CD47. The overproduction of CD47 on cancer cells tells macrophages “don’t eat me,” allowing the disease to progress.

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Meet the Children: Melissa Mugno

Melissa Mugno 1

In February of 2009, Melissa broke her leg and was rushed to the ER. Her doctor ordered an x-ray to determine the best way to fix her broken leg, and noticed an abnormality, causing them to order an MRI to get a better picture. Later that day, Melissa and her parents received news that no one should ever hear; their 13-year-old daughter had osteosarcoma. Her doctors found cancer in her right hip, femur, and knee. Melissa underwent several rounds ofchemotherapy and eventually had to have her bones fused due to complications from treatment. When she went into remission, her family was ecstatic.

The celebration was short lived because in May of 2010, doctors found cancer in Melissa’s lungs. She had chemotherapy and surgery on her lungs later that year, and went into remission again, this time for a year.

In 2011, her family received the news that Melissa had relapsed again in her lungs and would have to undergo chemotherapy and another surgery. The treatment was successful, but only for a short time, because Melissa relapsed for a third time in 2012. The family began looking for alternative treatments and ended up in Orlando for a clinical trial. The trial went well, and Melissa was declared in remission.

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Thank You For Participating in #GivingTuesday!


Happy Thanksgiving from CureSearch


Every Now


Every 40 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. That’s 36 children today, tomorrow, and every day after that. The search for cures is happening now. Every Now. Will you help?

CureSearch is funding research that will solve the field’s most challenging problems. To help find cures now. Every Now.

The big issues: One out of 5 children diagnosed with cancer dies. 60% of those who survive suffer late effects from their treatment, including secondary cancers. The pace at which research must move to find cures and less toxic treatments needs to increase. Novel research needs funding and unwavering support.

Small steps forward: For 36 days, until the first of the New Year, we ask you to take our challenges. Nothing complicated, just small actions you can take to support the children diagnosed every day, which is big.

Together, we can make the most of Every Now

Invite your friends & family, and their friends & family to take today’s challenge!

Visit to donate, participate, and help to grow the community of those searching for cures Every Now.

Help CureSearch Raise $10,000


Forming a Caring Group to Support Family

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer is pleased to offer a webinar for parents and caregivers of children with cancer. This webinar will be presented by medical professionals specializing in the webinar’s topic. These webinars were made possible by a grant from American Legion Child Welfare Foundation.

Join CureSearch on November 20 at 7:00 pm EST to learn more about forming a caring group to support family. This webinar will help you understand why you might need a little extra help from friends and family during the treatment of your child’s cancer. Using video, slides, and discussion, presenters will share a model developed to organize the help of friends and family, including a step-by-step plan to use the power of a community in a way that best addresses the needs your family while treatment takes place.

Click here to register