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Stony Brook Children’s Hospital gets $50,000 cancer study grant

Stony Brook Children’s Hospital has been awarded a $50,000 from St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which supports pediatric cancer research, the nonprofit organization announced Monday.

The foundation, located in Los Angeles, is the largest private funder of childhood cancer-research grants nationwide. The organization is awarding Stony Brook Children’s a grant through the Research Foundation for the State University of New York.

All told, foundation officials awarded grants from a pool of $2.2 million to 39 children’s cancer programs nationwide, five of them in New York.

Stony Brook’s grant is to support a “nurse navigator” with an aim of increasing participation in clinical trial enrollment, foundation officials said Monday.

A nurse navigator is a registered nurse who specializes in cancer care and offers individualized assistance to patients and their families. Clinical trials are often the portal through which cancer patients are introduced to new and innovative therapies under study.

“The majority of childhood cancer patients are treated in a clinical trial,” Kathleen Ruddy, St. Baldrick’s chief executive, said in a statement Monday. “Research relies on enrolling large numbers of patients in clinical trials to ensure results are meaningful and advancements are made.”

Grant administrators call the new funding for all institutions “infrastructure grants,” which are awarded based on each medical center’s need, its patients, anticipated results of the grant and local participation in St. Baldrick’s fundraising events and activities.

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Long Island volunteers raised $400,000 in St. Baldrick’s “head-shaving” events this year, foundation officials said Monday.

Head-shaving events are held to show support for children and teens with cancer who often lose their hair during cancer therapy. The events are also the centerpiece for fundraising to seed grants for institutions.

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