St. Jude Children's Research Hospital increased cancer survival rate from four percent to 94 percent

St. Jude celebrates 50 year anniversary

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - St. Jude Children's Research Hospital treats nearly 8,000 patients each year.

"Every patient we treat here is a patient we treat globally," said Dr. David Shook of St. Jude's. "Our research advances are shared openly around the world."

"And, and they're able to take that and create new treatments and raise the survival rate," said Scott Hinshelwood, a former patient.

St. Jude has helped increase the survival rate for the most common form of childhood cancer from four percent to 94 percent.

"Not that this situation's easy," said Megan Shank, a patient's mother. "But it makes it easier knowing that they are doing what they are doing."

St. Jude is the site of revolutionary pediatric cancer treatment. For instance, sometimes traditional radiation does not work. But St. Jude will soon have the only machine in the world that shoot a proton beam the size of the tip of a pencil directly into a child's brain tumor for treatment.

"St. Jude is on the cutting edge of all that," said Hinschelwood. "It's where all the hopeless cases come and many of us make it."

But St. Jude is not just a treatment hospital.

There are about 200 researchers from all over the world working under one roof here at St. Jude working for one mission: Finding cures and saving children.

"We are integrating research with clinical treatment here at St. Jude," said Dr. Ysamine Valentine-Vega, a researcher. 

"In one week, I can spend $10,000 to $20,000 in experiments, so it's really expensive and I'm just one researcher. So donations help us move forward."

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