The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation recently presented a major gift to Kyle MacQuarrie, MD, PhD, an attending physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, to investigate treatment resistance of rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive pediatric cancer of the muscle. 

Treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma includes chemotherapy along with surgical removal of the tumors, radiation therapy to the tumors, or both. While some patients respond well to the treatments and are essentially cured, others experience a relapse with tumors that are much more resistant to treatments. The major gift will support Dr. MacQuarrie’s research on how chromosomal organization in rhabdomyosarcoma cells affects tumor resistance to chemotherapy, with the hopes of identifying ways to sensitize resistant tumor cells to chemotherapy and improve the treatment of children diagnosed with these types of tumors. 

Dr. MacQuarrie is the Sharon B. Murphy, MD and Steven T. Rosen, MD Research Professorship in Cancer Biology & Chemotherapy at Lurie Children’s, and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Pediatric research at Lurie Children’s is conducted through Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute.