MU School of Medicine Receives $250,000 Grant for Cancer Research

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COLUMBIA - Hyundai Hope on Wheels awarded the University of Missouri School of Medicine with a $250,000 Hope Grant Wednesday for further research on cancer.

This grant will be used for the research of Dr. Kristen Taylor. Taylor is trying to determine which patients with pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are most at risk for relapse. ALL is the most common childhood cancer.

"I'm really excited about getting this grant. I've been stuck in a lab, but now I'm so excited to be able to work with patients," said Dr. Taylor.

One local patient who was diagnosed with this specific type of cancer came to the event to show his support for Taylor's research. Shayden Talbert went into the hospital in January 2010 for a nose bleed when he heard the words, "You have cancer."

"Shayden is a healthy nine-year old now, who plays baseballs and is going to school on a regular basis. We haven't had any major set-backs. This grant is a such a wonderful gift to give the School of medicine to help people like us get back to normal," said Shayden's mother Sarah.

Cure rates for pediatric patients are more than 80 percent, however those who relapse have a survival rate of five percent. September is national Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

"Not that many realize that most cancer research does not include pediatric research. We want to make our footprint in that research. We want to make sure a child never has to hear 'you have cancer' again," said Hyudai representative Brian O'Malley.

The University of Missouri is one of 41 children oncology institutions to receive the grant this year.