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CureSearch for Children's Cancer

4600 East West Highway 
Suite 600
Bethesda,  MD  20814


  • This organization is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity.
  • Financial information in this report is derived from the organization's December 31, 2015 Form 990.

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Chief Executive Profile

Laura S. Thrall began her role as President and CEO of CureSearch for Children's Cancer in September, 2012. Prior to coming to CureSearch, Thrall was President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.  There, she lead the region's largest non-governmental funder of health and human services. She spearheaded the development and launch of Live United 20/20, United Way's decade long strategy to serve people in Metro Chicago's neediest communities.   Thrall served as an appointed member on Governor Quinn's Human Services Commission, chaired the Chicago Alliance for Collaborative Effort, and led the Donor's Forum Public/Nonprofit Partnership Initiative Policy Forum. Thrall was a founding member of Illinois Partners for Human Services and served as an appointed member of the City of Chicago's Volunteerism Advisory Board.   Laura holds a Master's degree with distinction in Public Service Management from DePaul University in Chicago.



CureSearch for Children's Cancer is working to end children's cancer. We know research that leads to the discovery and launch of new treatment therapies is the only way to get that done. We drive forward the innovative research needed now so children can live long and healthy lives. By accelerating the pace of cancer research via large, long term commitments to the most novel and promising science, we are driving to clinical use with children—not in ten years, not in five, but right now. We are building the kind of transformative partnerships that will increase collaboration, encourage invention, and develop targeted therapies to improve the quality of life for children. CureSearch welcomes donors who are ready for a breakthrough and who demand innovation and results to save lives now.


Program:Acceleration Initiative (AI)
Budget: $10,000,000
Population Served: Children and youth (0-19 years)

Program Description:

Through the Acceleration Initiative, launched in 2013, CureSearch has broken new ground in the children’s cancer research field — allowing us to transcend the barriers of a broken system and establish a new pathway to end childhood cancer. The $10 million Acceleration Initiative elicits and invests in the best, most innovative pediatric cancer research. We bring together the brightest thought leaders in the field today to agree to the areas of greatest challenge in children’s cancer research. We then target specific grants to resolve those challenges and accelerate the search for cures. All AI projects are marked by the following characteristics: • Highly innovative with the potential to break new ground in the field • Probability of clinical application (i.e. ready to reach patients within 3 years — an accelerated time frame) • Help overcome scientific and therapeutic roadblocks to speed up the delivery of promising interventions (i.e. transcends a broken system to end childhood cancer) The Acceleration Initiative has been implemented in three phases. The $5 million AI-1 portfolio, initiated in 2013, is focused on three discreet challenges facing the children’s cancer research field: halting metastatic disease; addressing refractory disease and treatment toxicity; and developing a novel therapeutic approach. AI-2 began in March 2015 in partnership with the Switzerland-based Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research. The $2 million AI-2 International Grand Challenge Awards address two critical challenges in pediatric cancer treatments: creating novel approaches to children’s cancer survivorship; and accelerating the delivery of new therapeutic agents for pediatric patients. AI-3 will begin in May 2016. The $2-3 million International Grand Challenge Awards will address these three critical challenges in pediatric cancer treatments: 1. Validation of novel biomarkers to improve clinical outcomes for high-risk pediatric cancers 2. Novel approaches for complementary, combination therapies targeting high-risk pediatric cancers 3. Accelerating novel therapeutics/innovative technologies developed for adults into the pediatric cancer realm

Program:Young Investigator Grants
Budget: $1,300,000
Population Served: Children and youth (0-19 years)

Program Description:

CureSearch for Children's Cancer combats the loss of promising scientists from the field by providing significant financial support to investigators early in their research career. Early-career investigators are the most vulnerable to federal funding shortages, and they rely more than ever on the support of private foundations like CureSearch in order to continue their research. These grants are limited to truly transformational science designed to deliver the next generation of cancer treatment. CureSearch recently awarded six grants to researchers studying neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, leukemia, Wilms Tumor, and palliative care for adolescents and young adult cancers. Young Investigators receive $$225,000 over the course of three years, allowing them to focus on research, not fundraising.
Program:Patient and Caregiver Resources
Budget: $500,000
Population Served: Families

Program Description:

CureSearch provides education and resources so that no child faces a cancer diagnosis and treatment without a fully equipped team behind them. Our resources include: CureSearch website: We are proud to be an online resource for patients, their families and support systems. Our website provides up-to-date information about the various types of children's cancer along with research trials, definitions and descriptions of tests, procedures and treatments and information to help families manage the emotional aspects of caring for a child with cancer. Interactive resources: We provide a series of digital resources for patients and families, including our distinctive educational video series that demonstrates common treatments and procedures using child-friendly language. Also available are webcasts psychosocial support, including forming a support group and helping children reintegrate into a school environment. Our podcasts include interviews with our researchers and sessions from the CureSearch Symposium. CureSearch CancerCare mobile app: the CureSearch CancerCare app provides free, comprehensive cancer management capabilities that allow users to share the same information across multiple devices, making it possible for multiple caregivers to trade notes, schedules, symptoms, and resources about their child.
Budget: $10,000,000
Population Served: Children and youth (0-19 years)

Program Description:

Catapult is a new, paradigm-changing strategy to expedite promising research to the production of new pediatric cancer treatments. CureSearch is proud to work with key partners to catapult the best research over the "Valley of Death" and into clinical application, ultimately ensuring children receive better treatments faster.

Balance Sheet Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2015

Total Note: The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities also must be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.
Assets January 1, 2015December 31, 2015Change
Cash & Equivalent$1,333,825$1,013,006($320,819)
Accounts Receivable$78,904$370,956$292,052
Pledges & Grants Receivable$0$91,000$91,000
Receivable/Other Due to changes in the 2008 Form 990, this data is no longer reported.$0$0$0
Inventories for Sale or Use$0$0$0
Investment/Securities Due to Changes in the 2008 Form, this value now includes Publicly Traded Securities as well as Other Securities. $5,771,392$5,466,412($304,980)
Investment/Other Due to various changes in the way this data is reported in the 2008 Form 990, it may not be possible to accurately compare this data from the 2008 form 990 against the same field on prior forms $0$0$0
Fixed Assets The 2008 form does not distinguish between LBE as investments and LBE as fixed assets. This value is equivalent to the sum of both line items on earlier forms (Part IV line 55 plus line 57). $142,663$115,234($27,429)
Other Program Related Investments is now a separate field on the new form, Part X-13(A) and (B). $135,481$153,920$18,439
Total Assets:$7,462,265$7,210,528($251,737)

LiabilitiesJanuary 1, 2015December 31, 2015Change
Accounts Payable$225,013$230,422$5,409
Grants Payable$0$0$0
Deferred Revenue$5,040$33,638$28,598
Loans and Notes The value on this line may now include payables to former employees, disqualified persons and unrelated third parties. $0$0$0
Tax-Exempt Bond Liabilities$0$0$0
Other Due to various changes in the way this data is reported in the 2008 Form 990, it may not be possible to accurately compare this data from the 2008 Form 990 against the same field on prior forms $199,586$225,334$25,748
Total Liabilities:$429,639$489,394$59,755

Fund Balance:$7,032,626$6,721,134($311,492)


Basic Information

Chief Executive:Ms. Laura Thrall
Contact: Ms. Kay Koehler, Chief Development Officer
Telephone: 240 -235-2208
Fax: 301 -718-0047
Year Founded: 1987
Ruling Year: 1992
Fiscal Year End Date: December 31, 2015
Assets: $7,210,528
(from Dec 31, 2015 Form 990)
Income: $6,364,707
(from Dec 31, 2015 Form 990)

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