The Money We Raise
The money raised for pediatric cancer clinical trials by The Robby Brisco Open and Vie for the Kids, Inc. has been instrumental to the work being done at Connecticut Children’s. According to Dr. Michael Isakoff, who heads the clinical trials program, private donations are imperative for an academic non-profit hospital like Connecticut Children’s.
“Due to low government reimbursement rates and the need for resources to care for a patient in a clinical trial, including research staff, nurses, child life experts and social workers, we must rely on private donations,” he explained. “In fact, now more than ever, as we expand our research and program, we need more staff and financial support.”
Historically, not all new experimental treatments have been available to patients in this region, and in some cases patients in Connecticut have had to travel out of state to find access to these types of therapies. With vital funding provided by Vie for the Kids, Inc., Connecticut Children’s has expanded its clinical trials program by participating in the design of clinical trials that are based at centers throughout the country.
"With this support, we have now been able to join together with other hospitals to provide access to new treatments for patients who previously had little to no treatment options,” Dr. Isakoff said. For example, in one trial we are now able to take a piece of a patient’s tumor and do a genetic analysis that can allow us to design a treatment plan that is targeted to that specific tumor,” Dr. Isakoff said. “In some cases, this has been helpful when no other treatment option is available. While this may not be a magic bullet, it certainly gives us options that previously did not exist.”
Contributions from Vie for the Kids, Inc. have helped fund many items critical to Connecticut Children's clinical trials, including:
One full research associate
50% of a second research associate
Research tests for patients being treated on research trials that insurance companies would not cover
Educational seminars and conferences
Tumor database system