||Ian's Friends Foundation (IFF) is an independent, family-started organization, supporting groundbreaking therapeutic methodologies to treat and cure pediatric brain tumors at renowned cancer institutions, including Dana Farber, Boston Children's, Johns Hopkins, DukeMedicine, New York-Presbyterian, NYU Langone, UPMC, Weill Cornell, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory, Georgia Tech, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and UTHealth....and others.
When Phil and Cheryl Yagoda's then two-year-old son, Ian, (now 15 in 2019) was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, they were beyond stunned. Out of desperation, the Yagodas started IFF which has since raised more than $13M, much of which is funding fast-track research that otherwise would not be possible.
Cutting Edge Research: Pediatric brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death among children. Current treatments are inadequate both because some patients’ tumors recur despite treatment and because current treatments can cause considerable toxicity, decreasing quality of life. The IFF-funded doctors are working towards a cure that hopefully will overcome some of the major barriers to success of current treatment approaches. From highly innovative technology and precision medicine to new therapeutic targets to facilitate drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier and novel biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis, the results have been outstanding. In fact, the research it's funded has received scientific recognition.
IFF hosts an annual WhatIFF Symposium, a unique shark tank-style platform including top clinicians and researchers presenting their fast-track lifesaving pediatric brain tumor research. Forty to 50 of the leading doctors and scientists are invited to participate, with winners receiving funding from IFF. This format is also unique in that it enables these specialists to meet, discuss their research and collaborate in ways that otherwise would not take place.