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Quick Facts

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital located in Memphis, Tennessee

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One of the world's premier centers for research and treatment of catastrophic diseases in children, primarily pediatric cancers.

* St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, maintains 60 inpatient beds and treats about 230 patients each day, about 4,900 in active status, most of who are treated on an outpatient basis.

* It is the first institution established for the sole purpose of conducting basic and clinical research into catastrophic childhood diseases, mainly cancer. St. Jude is the largest childhood cancer research center in the world in terms of the number of patients enrolled on research protocols and successfully treated.

* St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and more than 70 foreign countries.

* Research findings at St. Jude are shared with doctors and scientists all over the world. St. Jude also enjoys a worldwide reputation as a teaching facility. The medical and scientific staff publishes about 450 articles in academic journals each year.

* St. Jude, which is non-sectarian, treats children without regard to race, religion, creed or ability to pay. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay.

* The hospital's daily operating costs are approximately $1,216,247, which are primarily covered by public contributions.

* During the past five years, 84.7 percent of every dollar received by ALSAC/St. Jude has gone to the current or future needs of St. Jude.

* St. Jude pioneered a combination of chemotherapy, radiation and, when necessary, surgery to treat childhood cancers. The hospital continues to expand the use of bone marrow transplantation as a treatment for pediatric cancers and genetic diseases.

* St. Jude is a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza Viruses in Animals and Birds.

* Peter C. Doherty, PhD, of the St. Jude Immunology department, won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1996. He shares the award with Rolf M. Zinkernagel, MD, of the University of Zurich. Their findings have led to major breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of virus infections and cancers, and in the development of organ transplant procedures and vaccines.

* Since its inception, St. Jude has developed protocols that have brought survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent to better than 70 percent overall. The current St. Jude survival rates for selected childhood cancers are: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) 94 percent, Hodgkin disease (cancer of the lymph system) 90 percent, Medulloblastoma (brain tumor) 85 percent, and Wilms tumor (kidney tumor) 90 percent.

*In 1962, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer, was 4 percent. Today, the survival rate for this once deadly disease is 94 percent thanks to research and treatment protocols developed at St. Jude.

* To treat a child with standard-risk ALL required a two-and-a-half year protocol at a cost of $500,000.

* The St. Jude faculty includes three National Academy of Sciences members: Peter Doherty, PhD, of Immunology; Charles Sherr, MD, PhD, of Tumor Cell Biology; and Robert Webster, PhD, of Infectious Diseases. Sherr and James Ihle, PhD, Biochemistry, and Brenda Schulman, PhD, Structural Biology, hold the coveted title of Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators.

* St. Jude researchers and doctors are treating children with genetic immune defects and pediatric AIDS, as well as using new drugs and therapies to fight infections.

* St. Jude was the first facility outside the National Institutes of Health to receive federal approval for research involving human gene therapy.

* St. Jude operates a bone marrow transplant program that enables doctors to perform approximately 185 transplants per year.

Revised November 2006

Mission

The mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is to find cures for children with catastrophic illnesses through research and treatment.

Related Topics

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Volunteer Activity

Volunteers are important to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Every day, the halls of the hospital are filled with volunteers willing to donate their time and energy to the mission of St. Jude.

Here are just a few of the many benefits you'll gain through volunteering:

Learn new skills and meet new people

Make discoveries about yourself

Have fun while helping others

Group Volunteer Opportunities