A $250,000 grant from Hyundai Hope On Wheels and Los Angeles area Hyundai dealers is going to UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital for pediatric cancer research. The grant funds will support the work of Dr. Satiro De Oliveira with a focus on finding new strategies to treat Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the fifth most common pediatric cancer. Chances of a cure are less than 50 percent for those who relapse or are resistant to treatment.
“This project will study the gene modification of blood stem cells to enable the immune system to directly target and destroy lymphoma cells,” said De Oliveira, an assistant professor of pediatric hematology and oncology at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. “The prospect of harnessing a patient’s own blood stem cells to create a whole, self-renewing immune system directed to destroy cancer bears the possibility of improved outcomes. It could also offer an alternative therapy for patients, especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds, who do not have a matched source for a stem cell transplant."
The grant was presented during a ceremony at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital where UCLA pediatric patients affected by cancer painted their handprints on a white 2016 Hyundai Tucson. UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, a longtime partner of the organization, has received $775,000 from Hope On Wheels to date.