HERSHEY, Pa. (WTAJ)– A new virtual center is opening as Four Diamonds, along with Penn State Health Children’s Hospitals look to expand work of finding a cure for pediatric cancer, according to a press release.

The new center is designed to help bolster Four Diamonds work in pediatric cancer research efforts. It is a part of a multi-year strategic plan that will see $24 million committed from fundraising efforts by Four Diamonds to the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology.

The center will enhance the work of Four Diamonds in three areas, according to the release:

  • Patient care– Advanced diagnostics and therapeutics will be utilized to better identify cancers in early and established stages as well as develop more treatments that lead to more survivors.
  • Collaborative opportunities between the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology and Penn State Cancer Institute– Partnership ties will be strengthened between the two and also to further learning for cancer.
  • Competitive research grants– The center will ask for research requests for proposals partners within the health system and College of Medicine and may even give funding for projects led by College of Medicine investigators at different institutions.

Pediatric oncologist and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital Dr. Yatin Vyas, who will will oversee the work of the Four Diamonds Center for Childhood Cancer Innovation, was very excited of the opening of the new center.

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“We believe philanthropy can ultimately help accelerate the timeline for clinical research and help our investigators discover and get treatments to patients faster,” Dr. Vyas said in the press release. “Everyone benefits from a higher level of collaboration, and we are grateful to the generous donors who make this life-saving work possible.”

Interim dean of Penn State College of Medicine Dr. Kevin Black also stated how important the new center is towards the fight against cancer.

“With the support of Four Diamonds through THON, hundreds of Mini-THONs and thousands of donors, our investigators will expand on their already impressive work toward curing childhood cancers and improving existing treatments,” Dr. Black said.

 The new center helps Four Diamonds in its mission to provide support to families by paying for all medical expenses that are not covered by insurance and deal with cancer.