Pheonix Spangler Foundation partners with cc-TDI on rhabdomyosarcoma research

The Pheonix Spangler Foundation is proud to support research at the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute (cc-TDI) in memory of teen Pheonix Spangler.

The Pheonix Spangler Foundation announces a substantial research support contribution to the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute (cc-TDI, to study the childhood muscle cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma.
Pheonix Spangler was the epitome of a fighter, one that was taken far too soon. In 2012, at only 12 years old, Pheonix was diagnosed with Stage IV Rhabdomyosarcoma – a soft tissue cancer. Regardless of the diagnosis and her treatments, Pheonix displayed iron-like courage and maintained her altruistic personality. In her absence, she leaves a foundation with an aim to make a difference in pediatric cancer treatments.
The Pheonix Spangler Foundation has been overwhelmingly generous in their partnership with cc-TDI, and the latest donation is just another example. The support offered by the Foundation has enabled cc-TDI to take critical leaps forward in terms of lab efficiency and research. Their most recent donation will help cc-TDI enhance the laboratory and create new avenues of innovation with an Osteopontin research project.
Osteopontin is a protein that is created and secreted by certain cancer cells, including rhabdomyosarcoma. cc-TDI’s project will be focused on attempting to manipulate Osteopontin levels, either by slowing or stopping their creation entirely, to see the impact on cancer metastasis. This promising project was previously funded with a generous $50,000 grant from the B+ Foundation, in memory of Andrew McDonough. The Pheonix Spangler Foundation gift continues this promising project that follows the B+ Foundation support. “This gracious donation from the Pheonix Spangler Foundation responds to one of the most exciting projects in the lab, which is in pursuit of an Osteopontin targeted therapy”, says cc-TDI postdoctoral fellow Dr. Narendra Bharathy. Moving the project forward will be Dr. Alexandria Harrold, who will also make weekly updates in an open science blog that can be viewed at
Andy Woods, a researcher at cc-TDI focusing on Anaplastic Wilms’ Tumor, knows firsthand what the contributions from the Pheonix Spangler Foundation have meant to the lab. Andy says, “The support we have received from the Pheonix Spangler Foundation has been invaluable in helping the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute purchase critical lab
equipment, such as our Guava flow cytometer. This instrument, made possibly by Pheonix’s


community, as well as the The Thumbs Up for Lane Goodwin Foundation, is used regularly to understand how tumor cells from a given patient are similar – but also how they differ. Studying this ‘heterogeneity’ helps us design treatments that are less prone to drug resistance or relapse.”

The Pheonix Spangler Foundation and cc-TDI share a common mission to change the fact that 1-in-5 children will not survive their cancer diagnosis. Instead, they aim to make all childhood cancers universally survivable.
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