William Eward, MD, DVM, assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, has been named to receive a 2017 Hyundai Hope on Wheels Award, a $250,000 Hyndai Scholar grant.
Eward treats complex sarcomas in both humans and animals. His laboratory focuses on comparative oncology — cancer discoveries made by analyses across different species.
"My background is very different from most doctors," Eward said. "I started as a veterinarian and became interested in cancer because so many dogs have cancer, and I went to medical school to learn how to treat and beat some of these types of cancer. I’m still a veterinarian, and that’s a big part of what we do here. Many cancers of the bone and muscles, sarcomas, are rare in people, but common in dogs. So continuing to treat dogs with this type of cancer lets us and our group gain a deeper understanding of how these cancers work."
Hyundai Hope on Wheels research grants work to expand the knowledge of pediatric cancer and develop novel approaches for associated tumors. Hyundai Hope on Wheels offers two grants, the Hyundai Scholar and Hyundai Young Investigator grant. The Hyundai Scholar grant is for $250,000 and the Hyundai Young Investigator grant is for $150,000, both over a period of two years. The awards are limited to Children’s Oncology Group (“COG”) member institutions in the U.S.
“The Hyundai Scholar and Young Investigator grants offer strategic investments to help provide innovative solutions for the most challenging pediatric cancer cases,” said Scott Stark, Board Chairman, Hyundai Hope on Wheels. “By funding early career clinicians, we have a greater chance of improving the quality of life and survival rate of every child fighting cancer.”
The Hyundai Scholar Award is presented to scientists involved with translational research and who work directly with pediatric cancer patients. This award makes possible Eward's continuing work developing a personalized medicine pipeline for the treatment of sarcomas. Eward, together with Duke researcher Jason Somarelli, PhD, Duke gastrointestinal oncologist David Hsu, MD, PhD, and North Carolina State University comparative oncology genetecist Matthew Breen, PhD, are taking patient-derived xenografts from human and canine osteosarcomas and conducting cross-species genomic analysis and drug screening. Their ultimate goal is to develop new precision medicine treatments for human and canine sarcoma patients.
According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of death among American children by disease per year. Each year more than 10,000 children are newly diagnosed with cancer. While rare in adults, osteosarcoma is the third most common cancer in teens, after lymphomas and brain tumors.
Committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer, Hyundai Hope on Wheels was established in 1998. Hyundai Hope on Wheels provides grants to eligible institutions nationwide that are pursuing life-saving research and innovative treatments for the disease. Primary funding for Hyundai Hope on Wheels comes from Hyundai Motor America and its more than 820 U.S. dealers. Since its launch, Hyundai Hope on Wheels has awarded more than $100 million to childhood cancer research. For more information on grants and research currently supported by Hyundai, please visit Hyundai Hope on Wheels.
The Duke Multidisciplinary Sarcoma Research Program will host its annual Strike Out for Sarcoma 5K and Family Fun Walk at WakeMed Soccer Park, 201 Soccer Park Drive, in Cary, North Carolina, on Sunday, Sept. 10. For more information or to register, visit Strike Out For Sarcoma.