August 15, 2022:

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (Big Ten CRC) and Cal’s Angels are pleased to announce a new collaboration to fund Adolescent/Young Adult (AYA) therapeutic cancer clinical trials conducted within the Big Ten CRC.

Since its founding in 2007, Cal’s Angels, a regional pediatric cancer foundation, has raised over $17 million to support families and children battling cancer, and to fund pediatric cancer research in Illinois and Iowa hospitals.

The funds to be provided by Cal’s Angels will support therapeutic cancer clinical trials led by researchers employed at Big Ten CRC member institutions. David Dickens, MD, FAAP, and Sandeep Batra, MD, co-chairs of the Big Ten CRC AYA Clinical Trial Working Group are requesting initial proposals to be submitted by September 5, 2022. The co-chairs will facilitate working group review of the submitted concepts and select 1-3 trials to propose to Cal’s Angels for potential funding.

Proposals must be consistent with Big Ten CRC research criteria.

Please submit concepts to Jonathan Ang at

About Cal’s Angels

In June 2005, Cal Sutter, a 12-year-old South Elgin Little League All-Star, was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.

The battle with pediatric cancer is a horrible nightmare no child or family should ever have to experience. Yet, like most children, Cal never gave up hope and through it all, he was always more concerned about the well-being of the other children fighting cancer than he was about himself.

Even though Cal ultimately lost his battle with leukemia in August 2006, the courage he displayed throughout his treatment inspired the start of Cal’s All-Star Angel Foundation, Inc. (Cal’s Angels) – a 501(c)(3) pediatric cancer foundation with a mission of granting wishes, raising awareness and funding research to help kids fighting cancer.

Cal’s Angels has collaborated with researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Lurie Children’s Hospital initiating a drug discovery program, sponsored by Cal’s Angels, for the repurposing of existing drug compounds and ongoing testing of new medications.

Cal’s Angels hosts programming, annual events, provides resources for families and continues to lead a relentless battle for hope and life against pediatric cancer, making differences one day at a time.

About the Big Ten CRC AYA Clinical Trial Working Group

Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium investigators are determined to give adolescents and young adults (AYA) a fair shot in overcoming cancer by addressing the systemic challenges that are often roadblocks to the best care, including access to cancer clinical trials.

According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 88,260 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed among AYAs and about 85% of AYAs diagnosed with cancer will survive their cancer beyond five years after their diagnosis, some left with chronic side effects and fertility issues.

Through the AYA Clinical Trial Working Group, members of the consortium work collaboratively to address AYA-specific concerns at the protocol development level for clinical trials and advise members of the consortium at all levels on best practices in AYA research and care.

About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten cancer centers united to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative clinical trials and observational studies that seek to improve the lives of cancer patients in the diverse communities we serve by leveraging the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium creates a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to treatment and prevention. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit