Research on acute myeloid leukemia and pancreatic cancer are among the nine projects that will benefit from $2 million in new grants announced by Siteman Cancer Center through its Siteman Investment Program. Pedal the Cause is proud to be the major contributor of funds for these grants, which seed some of the most promising and innovative ideas in cancer research. In 2017, more than 3,000 riders, 800 volunteers and 30,000 donors made this possible with a total donation of $4,002,639 to Siteman Cancer Center and Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Since 2010, Pedal the Cause has donated over $19.8 million to these two beneficiaries, funding 101 cancer research projects – 73 adult and 28 pediatric.

One project, led by David DeNardo, PhD, an associate professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine and a research member of Siteman Cancer Center, hopes to gain an understanding of how to target a subset of immune cells that are responsible for creating a scar-like “armor” thought to protect pancreatic cancer cells and ultimately improve outcomes for pancreatic cancer patients.

Through preliminary experiments, Jacqueline Payton, MD, PhD, has already identified a new class of molecules called long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) as likely drivers of lymphoma development. Another newly-funded project aims to better understand and provide critical insight into the role this newly discovered class of RNA molecules have in the development of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

“This new round of Pedal-funded research is truly inspiring,” said Pedal the Cause Executive Director Jay Indovino “These projects are going deeper than ever before into the small discoveries and advances that will compound to one day provide cures for cancer. After eight years of funding cancer research at our beneficiaries, we are seeing our projects making real headway to provide new treatments and therapies that patients are benefiting from as we speak.”

“We’re grateful to the Pedal the Cause community; their sponsors, participants and donors for their hard work, fundraising and generosity,” said Dr. Timothy Eberlein, MD, Director, Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor; and Bixby Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine. “Because of their support, Siteman is able to fund these groundbreaking research projects that will move us to the next level of cancer prevention and treatment.”