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Cancer Care

How a Collaborative Business Model Is Transforming Pediatric Cancer Research

David Frazer

CEO, National Pediatric Cancer Foundation

Every day, 43 children and families in the United States face the harsh reality of a cancer diagnosis, yet only 4 percent of the billions of dollars allocated by the federal government to cancer research funding goes toward pediatric cancer. 

So how do we solve such an urgent problem that affects our children’s future so deeply? 

To start, we must break down walls. Traditionally, cancer research is conducted within a single institution. Each has its own funding, unique set of rules, guidelines, and deadlines that can (unintentionally) silo important research. That’s where a collaborative business model can make things better.

This popular business practice focuses on combining services to help achieve a shared goal. For pediatric cancer research specifically, this means bringing together researchers from all over the country to make kids a priority, and focus on solving every issue they face.  

At the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF), we have developed a collaborative business model to work toward a faster cure for pediatric cancer, called “The Sunshine Project.” Thanks to this model, since 2005, the NPCF has funded four Phase 1 Clinical Trials by keeping a network of 24 leading hospitals and spanning knowledge from top researchers across the nation. It typically takes 10 to 15 years to complete all three phases of a clinical trial. 

Here are some methods you can adopt to instill the power of collaboration into your organization:  

Partner with local businesses 

Channeling your business’s roots builds strong relationships with your local community and can grow it into a national movement. The NPCF created “Brewing Funds the Cure” with participating breweries nationwide. 


We’ve also partnered with Lokai Bracelets and Metro Diner to encourage donations, and tapped ABC Wine & Spirits, Russell Western Wear, Sebastian Strong, and foundational support from the Tyler Robinson Foundation. We must partner as a team to help save kids’ lives. 

Open up your network 

Traditionally, cancer research is done within the walls of a single institution. However, the NPCF feels that connecting with industry professionals and researchers nationwide leads to groundbreaking discoveries. 

Host professional summits

Providing a space for industry professionals to meet and discuss relevant topics can lead to the growth of your business and puts your cause at the forefront. Here, you’ll discover new methods and new minds to join your journey. 

Involving yourself in established summits is worth the vetting process. Just this year, the NPCF announced its effort to address improvements for our “relapsed” patients and ensure the best diagnostic and therapeutic services.

Eliminating childhood cancer is no easy task, however, the NPCF is taking steps toward that reality thanks to a more collaborative process. As we see progress made every day, other businesses nationwide should embrace this model for the best possible results that can make the greatest impact. 

If you’re interested in learning more about NPCF or how your business can get involved in our collaborations, please visit

David Frazer, CEO, National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, [email protected]

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