Supporting Cutting Edge Research

More treatment options, less toxicity and side effects. Finding a cure is our ultimate goal.

Continuing Ethan’s Fight…For All Kids

The Ethan Jostad Foundation continues to support cutting edge research that focuses on pediatric and adolescent cancers. Our primary focus for research funding is to increase the attention given to childhood cancers that have very high mortality rates, but that also receive little in research dollars, or that have made little to no progress in treatment advances. Many of these childhood cancers are considered terminal upon diagnosis.

We are proud to be an official research partner with the St.Baldrick's Foundation, who shares our goal of exclusively funding pediatric cancer research. In 2016, the Ethan Jostad Foundation partnered with St. Baldrick's to help fund a $330,000 St. Baldrick’s Scholar Grant awarded to Dr. Nicolas Llosa at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Dr. Llosa will focus his research on understanding how the immune system interacts with osteosarcoma cancer cells – the most common type of bone tumor in children. Our hope is that this immunotherapy research will lead to more effective, less toxic treatment options, not only for osteosarcoma, but for other sarcomas, and difficult-to-treat childhood cancers, as well.

Funds raised by our foundation support scientific research for childhood cancers considered more rare or more difficult to treat. These include, but are not limited to the following cancer types.

  • Childhood Sarcomas such as:
    • Rhabdomyosarcoma
    • Ewing's Sarcoma
    • Osteosarcoma
    • Clear Cell Sarcoma
    • Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor (DSRCT)
  • Brain Tumors such as:
    • Medulloblastoma
    • Astrocytoma
    • Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)
    • ATRT
    • Ependymoma
    • Primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET)
    • Pineoblastomas
    • Germ Cell tumors, and others.
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Our Research Funding History

In 2012 we made our first contribution to The Keller Laboratory at OHSU, a gift of $11,400 that supported the preclinical studies of a specific new agent that was potentially capable of stopping tumor cells from spreading (metastasis).  These studies employed Dr. Keller’s genetically-engineered mouse model of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.

Pictured above are (L to R) Guangheng Li and Dr. Charles Keller with Chris and Kim Jostad.

Pictured above are (L to R) Guangheng Li and Dr. Charles Keller with Chris and Kim Jostad.

In June of 2012 we hosted our 1st Annual Ethan Jostad Foundation charity golf tournament to help fund even more research into alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. We raised $13,878 with all proceeds being donated to Dr. Charles Keller at Oregon Health Science University towards childhood cancer research. Dr. Keller and his team of researchers are focused on the long term and near-term treatments for the childhood muscle cancer rhabdomyosarcoma, and the childhood brain tumor, medulloblastoma. Their lab conducts basic science investigation to determine how these tumors work – because finding a cure means knowing what causes the tumor and what makes it reproduce. They are also focused on finding molecules in these cancer types that can be turned off or turned on by drugs so that the tumor stops growing.

Dr. Keller and his team of researchers hard at work on a cure for rhabdomyosarcoma.

Dr. Keller and his team of researchers hard at work on a cure for rhabdomyosarcoma.

The funds raised by the Ethan Jostad Foundation for The Keller Laboratory at OHSU have led to peer reviewed medical studies and opinions for the journal Oncogene that has been accepted and published in May of 2013.  This study and opinion paper explored how Pharmaceutical companies might find benefit in developing treatments for rhabdomyosarcoma.In August of 2013 funding provided by our foundation, along with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, contributed to a study of the curious, ectopic behavior of surface growth factor receptors. This study has been accepted for publication in Molecular Cancer Research.

Shaving For The Brave and Raising Awareness

On July 29, 2012, Ethan’s mother Kim was a participant in the St. Baldrick’s annual 46 Mommas Shave For the Braveevent in Los Angeles, California. Kim was one of 46 moms who shaved her head in solidarity with children suffering from or lost to childhood cancer. The event is held every year in an effort to raise awareness and vital funding for pediatric cancer research.In 2012, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation raised more than than $30 million by shaving heads and has granted more than $100 million in childhood cancer research grants since 2005. The 46 Mommas alone have raised over $1.25 million in funds for pediatric cancer research.

Below are some images and video from the event. It was an emotional experience for all the mothers and fathers involved – all taking a stand against childhood cancer.

Kim & Chris Jostad at the 2012 St. Baldrick’s 46 Mommas Shave For The Brave. Photography by Ray Schiel

Kim & Chris Jostad at the 2012 St. Baldrick’s 46 Mommas Shave For The Brave. Photography by Ray Schiel

Continuing Ethan's Legacy

In December of 2014 EJF continued its support for Dr. Charles Keller's research into Rhabdomyosarcomas, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (a brain cancer known as DIPG), and other difficult to treat childhood cancers. These are childhood cancers that have received little in scientific research funding historically, yet have some of the highest rates of mortality upon diagnosis. Our foundation donated $10,000 to The Children's Cancer Therapy Institute (cc-TDI for short), led by Dr. Keller in his position of Scientific Director. We will continue to support cutting edge childhood cancer research through your donations.

Chris & Kim Jostad, co-founders of EJF and the donation to cc-TDI in December of 2014.

Chris & Kim Jostad, co-founders of EJF and the donation to cc-TDI in December of 2014.

Strategic Partnerships to Make a Real Difference

In August of 2016 the Ethan Jostad Foundation became an official research partner with the St. Baldrick's Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants. Our focus is to fund research for more "rare" pediatric cancers that receive little in research dollars today, and to move the needle in the right direction for childhood cancers that have seen little progress in improved treatment options or improved mortality rates.