To make childhood cancer a state health priority that provides all Kentucky children access to innovative cancer research, development, and precision treatments — with less toxicity — while encouraging psychosocial support to navigate complex issues throughout the trajectory of care, including long-term survivorship. These efforts target the needs and challenges specific to Kentucky childhood cancer epidemiology and therapies or treatments but hope to serve as a national model for how other states approach childhood cancer research.
To serve as an umbrella organization to drive pediatric cancer work across the state. It is not designed to compete with other organizations but to strengthen and elevate collaborative efforts in serving as an organized channel for fostering innovation, compassion, and working together beyond silos.
Funding from the Kentucky Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund (KCPRTF) has fueled a surge in pediatric cancer research within the Commonwealth. At the University of Kentucky, investigators are attempting to figure out why the incidence of brain tumors in children is much higher in Kentucky than in other states. New insights are being made in hard-to-treat cancers such as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and osteosarcoma (bone tumor). Finally, programs have been establisehd to identify and care for young people who have inherited a genetic predisposition to getting cancer. Together with the resources of the Markey Comprehensive Cancer Center, UK researchers are working hard to fight childhood cancer.
At the Norton Children's Cancer Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville School of Medicine, great strides are also underway to advance pediatric cancer research initiatives. The provision of CAR-T cell therapy is a newfound reality in Kentucky for children with leukemia and lymphoma, and targeted research to expand this immunotherapy to other diagnoses such as solid tumors and brain tumors is now taking place. A multi-site national clinical trial was launched to prevent relapse in the most common childhood brain cancer, medulloblastoma, and several projects have helped advance psychosocial care supports and interventions for cancer-affected children and their families. Due to the patronage of the KPCRTF, along with raiseRED, the Norton Cancer Institute, and the Norton Children's Hospital Foundation, meaningful progress is happening in real-time to combat the realities of pediatric cancer.
The Kentucky Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund (KPCRTF) was established in 2015 by Senate Bill 82 and funded $2.5 million each year of the biennium as part of the 2018 budget. In 2022, the budget bill included an additional one-time allocation of $6,750,000 for each fiscal year in 2023 and 2024. The KPCRTF is an independent board administered by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services per statute KRS 211.596 and KRS 211.597. The KPCRTF board meets approximately four times yearly to review grant applications and progress reports.
Pediatric Cancer Trust Fund Application Process
Eligible grant applicants include nonprofits, educational institutions, and Kentucky government agencies. Proposals must offer a program or service to address the needs of the Commonwealth. Typically, the request for applications (RFA) goes out in the spring of odd-numbered years, with applications due in the summer months of those same years. If additional funds become available, supplemental requests for applications will be announced. A link to the 2024 RFA is included here strictly for your reference and informational purposes. Please see contact information below for any questions regarding the process.