Chase after a Cure gala fights back against cancer

  • Monday, February 18, 2013

Kristin Kay, Claire Kabine, Jen Haskett, Ashley Wimberly, Mandy Myers and Lauren Oats PHOTOS PROVIDED BY EVENTS IN FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHY


Fifth Annual Chase After a Cure Gala Raises $125,000 for Childhood Cancer Research

The fifth annual Chase After a Cure Gala on Feb. 2 was the most successful to date in terms of attendance and the amount of money raised. Proceeds from the 2013 Gala totaled about $125,000 – far surpassing the $72,000 raised in 2012. About 400 people attended the gala.

Donors stepped up to support the Fund the Need effort, giving $56,000 toward specific equipment for research at the Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital. Of that, $30,000 will be used to purchase a machine that will allow for real-time PCR testing. Detection of gene expression by real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is one of the most valuable tools in biological research today, according to Dr. Jacqueline Kraveka, a pediatric oncologist at MUSC.

Real-time PCR is performed using a thermocycler. The instrument Dr. Kraveka and her team is using is more than 12 years old and needs to be replaced. MUSC researchers will use the thermocycler to examine differences in gene expression in tumor samples, thereby identifying new targets for neuroblastoma treatment. They also will detect changes in gene expression in response to drug treatments, which allows for a better understanding of how the medicines are working and ultimately help develop better treatments.

The money raised at the gala and through other fundraising initiatives supports childhood cancer research at the Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital. The Childhood Cancer Center at MUSC is a division of pediatric hematology-oncology and offers comprehensive care for children with cancer and blood disorders. There are more than 60 new childhood cancer diagnoses seen annually at MUSC.

Cancer is the No. 1 cause of disease-related death among children. About 13,400 children between birth and age 19 are diagnosed with cancer each year.

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