A pediatric oncologist at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health will use a $71,000 grant to study ways to block a rare form of childhood cancer.
Dr. Michael Ferguson was awarded the two-year fellowship by the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a California-based charity that funds cancer research projects across the country.
Ferguson's research is focused on neurofibromatosis Type I, a rare genetic disorder that affects about 100,000 people in the United States.
Between 25 and 40 percent of children with the disease form slow-growing tumors that can cause disfigurement, disability and even death, depending on their location, and there is no effective therapy to treat them.
Ferguson's project will test drugs that are already on the market to block growth in other cancers to determine if they can treat neurofibromatosis.
"There are so many foundations that support adult cancers, but children suffer also, and I am honored to join the St. Baldrick's Foundation to aid them in the fight against childhood cancers," Ferguson said in a news release.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation will award more than $23 million in its 2012 summer grant cycle.
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