KANSAS CITY, Mo. — September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Each year, more than 15,000 children are diagnosed with cancer.
Children's Mercy hopes to make that number zero by tweaking an old medicine.
"It's a very old drug that's been used as a chemotherapeutic agent for decades and it's used the way chemotherapies are used normally, which is very high doses, very toxic," said Dr. John Perry, Assistant Professor at the Children's Research Institute.
But now, they are using a lower dosage to reactivate anti-cancer immunity.
And they're already seeing success with adult patients.
"It's still very preliminary, but we hope to test it in pediatric patients and hope for the best," said Perry.
Researchers said they need more funding. Just 4 percent of federal government cancer research goes towards studying pediatric cancer.
"We need that research because these kids, when they do survive their cancers and we want to reduce the toxicity, so they can grow older and stay healthy," said Dr. Erin Guest, Pediatric Oncologist at Children's Mercy Hospital.
Branden's Hope is helping to fund Dr. Perry's research.
"The way we got started is our son was diagnosed when he was three. At five, he relapsed with the cancer and had less than a 10 percent chance of survival," said Deliece Hofen, President of Braden's Hope for Childhood Cancer.
Hofen's son, Braden, was not alone in his cancer fight.
"Three months, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I had all of these treatments for that were targeted treatments that would save my life and he had no known cure," said Hofen.
For more on what Children's Mercy is doing with their research, click here.