Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation

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The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) was founded in 1982 in order to improve the quality of life of children with cancer and increase the rate of survival. Twenty years ago the survival rate for children with Leukemia was 50%. Now, with the help of this organization and many others, the survival rate stands at 85%. The foundation's headquarters are in Irvine, California.


In 1982, the PCRF, founded and under the guidance of Dr. Mitchell Cairo, opened its first 200-square-foot (19 m2) facility. In 1983, the laboratory, researchers, and equipment all increased to twice their numbers. In 1984, the laboratory increased to 800 square feet (74 m2). In 1985-86, the Bone marrow transplant laboratory opened, with sterilized hoods, and a computerized, liquid nitrogen freezer to store samples. In 1987, the lab was relocated to a 2,000-square-foot (190 m2) facility. Through the next few years the PCRF moved into the areas of immuno-oncology research and molecular and cellular biology research. In 1992, the facility was again relocated to a 4,500-square-foot (420 m2) facility with all of the state of the art technology. Through the next couple years, the PCRF began to launch research in the areas of immunotherapy and stem cell biology. In 1994, the result of many years of research produced the first successful umbilical cord blood transplant. In 1996, from the 25 research investigators there are 46 manuscripts and abstracts that were accepted for publication. Dr. Cairo was awarded two contracts from the National Institute of Health/Heart, Lung & Blood Institute for the establishment of an Umbilical Cord Blood Bank and Umbilical Cord Blood Transplant Center. In 1997, the PCRF Laboratory was relocated to Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center. Due to the guidance of Dr. Cairo, this laboratory became one of the largest and most prestigious in the country. In 1999, Dr. Cairo performed the first ex-vivo cord blood transplant at Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center. In 2000 the PCRF was moved, yet again, to Babies and Children’s Hospital and the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, New York. In 2001 the PCRF had 5 member institutions, around 73 approved consortium clinical research protocols, and 172 patients involved in the Consortium studies. In 2002, the PCRF Laboratory at Children’s Hospital of New York was increased to over 2,000 square feet (190 m2). The first international Symposium on Childhood and Adolescent Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was held in New York, and was sponsored by Columbia University and Justus-Liebig-University Giessen. In 2004, the PCRF registered its 1,000th patient in the Consortium studies. In 2005, the PCRF lab at Columbia University reported the critical differences in cord blood compared to adult peripheral blood regulatory T-cells that may account for the significantly different responses after cord blood transplantation.

Board of directors[edit]


  • Jeff Dankberg, President
  • Leonard Shulman, Vice-President-West
  • Ralph Fariello, Vice-President-East
  • Keith Koeller, Secretary
  • Bonnie Dankberg, Treasurer
  • Rob Quish, Director of Marketing
  • Troy Varenchik, Director of Scientific Affairs
  • John Weiner, Director of Community Relations


  • Susan Bridgford
  • Susie Buchan
  • Alec Cloke
  • Melanie Colbert
  • Tim Cromwell
  • John Deegan
  • Scott A. Ecker
  • David Goldwasser
  • Dina Haddad
  • Mike Latham
  • Benn McCallister
  • Elizabeth McNulty
  • Daniel Mitchell
  • Janet Mitchell
  • Susan Reid
  • Ed Rosenblum
  • Jeffrey Stier
  • Dan Torrey
  • John Vallely
  • Matt Webb
  • Kim Weiner
  • James Weisenbach


Research funded by PCRF is conducted at:

  • Children's Hospital of Orange County
  • Children's Hospital Los Angeles
  • City of Hope National Medical Center
  • Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA
  • M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia University Medical Center
  • PCRF Laboratory at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia University Medical Center


In order to encourage others to join in the struggle against cancer, the PCRF awards grants to areas that can further the field in any way. The PCRF currently awards grants in the following categories of research:


PCRF has raised over 30 million dollars for pediatric cancer research. These contributions were donated by individuals, charities, and businesses. Over 80 percent of all donations to PCRF go directly to research, as a result of the dedication of a large team of volunteers. Their major sponsors (giving $10,000 or more) for the year 2005 are:[1]

Advocates ($50,000+)[edit]

  • The Corona Nation Indian Guides
  • Mr. and Mrs. Kelly Monahan
  • The Walden W. & Jean
  • Young Shaw Foundation

Patrons ($25,000+)[edit]

  • BNC Mortgage, Inc.
  • Delta Delta Delta-Newport Harbor Chapter
  • Maxwell Arizona Charitable Trust
  • Mr. & Mrs. Craig McCallister
  • Mr. & Mrs. Len Rullo
  • Shulman, Hodges & Bastian
  • Lon V. Smith Foundation
  • Suncal Companies

Fellows ($10,000+)[edit]

  • Mr. & Mrs. Phillip Belling
  • Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Dankberg
  • Sylvia Dellar Estate
  • Deloitte
  • Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Deverian
  • Duda Family Foundation
  • Mr. & Mrs. Gary Edwards
  • Employees Community Fund of Boeing California
  • Jamba Juice
  • Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck
  • LBA Realty
  • Mouse Graphics
  • Mr. & Mrs. Paul Musco,
  • Gemini Industries, Inc.
  • National Charity League Juniors-
  • Newport Chapter
  • Mr. & Mrs. Robert T. Quish
  • Soccer for Hope
  • Studley
  • Sysco
  • 24 Hour Fitness
  • Mrs. Joyce Thurber
  • Vargas & Vargas
  • Mr. & Mrs. Enrique Wong

See also[edit]