5-year-old from NC part of cancer cure trial

Charlotte, NC - CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - South Charlotte's Isabella Santos is one of 500 kids in America with a rare form of pediatric cancer called Neuroblastoma.

After 28 straight months of treatments, Isabella was in remission.  Just after turning 5-years-old in March, doctors found the cancer had come back.  Isabella had relapsed. 

Isabella's treatments were both through Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.  Next week, she will be returning to Manhattan to do something all new. Isabella will be in a small group of children chosen to be part of a clinical trial of a new Neuroblastoma vaccine. 

The vaccine is already showing promising results.

"We've been told her cure is probably in research somewhere," Erin Santos said about her daughter.  "Six of the last seven kids who are already on the vaccine are still in remission.  We're hoping we fall into that bucket and this is her cure."

The vaccine is made possible through research dollars.

Erin Santos says the lack of funding overall makes it difficult to develop life-saving treatments for kids with neuroblastoma.

"There are few treatment options available," she said.  "There's also only a 40 percent survivor rate.  That's low.  We want to not only be on the better side of that statistic, but also help raise money to hopefully find a cure."

That's why she and her husband started the Isabella Santos Foundation.  They say their goal is to create awareness and funds for Neuroblastoma Research as well as other local children's cancer charities such as Make-A-Wish and the Ronald McDonald House. 

On Sept. 25, the foundation will host a 5K run in the Ballantyne Corporate Park, located in Charlotte, NC. 

To register for the event, click here.

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