Pediatric Cancer & Blood Disorders Research and Reports

The Helen & Jacob Shaham Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute at Nicklaus Children's is engaged in more than 75 clinical cancer research studies, all of which are focused on finding new cures, treatments and diagnostic procedures for pediatric malignancies. No hospital in the region features such a wide array of clinical trials for childhood cancer research. As such, the Shaham Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute offers its patients unparalleled hope, offering the latest drug treatments, medical devices, biotechnology and other technological innovations in the fight against pediatric cancer.

The Children's Oncology Group (COG)

The Shaham Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute at Nicklaus Children's has been recognized as a full member of the prestigious Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a nationally funded group of pioneering physicians and institutions. To maintain this standing, full compliance with COG requirements is mandated. Compliance in this group involves not only participation in and adherence to multi-center research protocols, but also submission of accurate and timely data. The Institute has also been awarded a grant by the National Cancer Institute to advance childhood cancer research. In addition, members of the team share their knowledge through publication of clinical research study findings and presentations to national societies of physician scientists.

Laboratory Cancer Research

Significant progress has been made in the early development of new treatments and diagnosis through childhood cancer research in laboratories at Nicklaus Children's. Molecular and genetic diagnosis and classification of pediatric brain tumors is being developed by micro-array technology. This leading-edge approach is being used for diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of malignant solid tumors. Also underway is work focused on the roles of cell growth in the development of drug resistance in pediatric cancers. In an exciting new effort, Nicklaus Children's has made progress in evaluating alternative medicines that are used to treat cancer in other cultures.

Brain Cancer Research Program

Nicklaus Children's Hospital and Research Institute has initiated pediatric neuro/oncology research as a collaborative effort between the Divisions of Pathology, Hematology/Oncology, Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Neurological Surgery. Several investigators from these departments are involved in brain cancer research to improve the brain cancer treatment and disease free survival.

The major focus of the brain cancer research program is to understand the mechanisms behind the failure of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and the reasons for the aggressiveness and invasiveness of brain tumors. The program is investigating the prognostic significance several genetic markers associated with cellular oncogenesis, drug resistance, cell proliferation, angiogenesis, differentiation and programmed cell death (apoptosis). The role of telomerase enzyme in the oncogenesis and aggressive behavior of certain brain tumors is also investigated in this research program. Alternative Medicine Projects include evaluation of the anticancer effects of curcumin and other "natural" compounds.

Through brain tumor research, our aim is to understand the origin, diagnosis, development and differentiation of brain tumor cells during the process of carcinogenesis. Simultaneously, we plan to translate the brain tumor research findings from evaluation of prognostic factors into the treatment of brain cancer patients.

Clinical trials including stem cell transplantation and anti-angiogenesis protocols are being used for patients with brain tumors. Young children are treated without radiation therapy to avoid late effects.

Active COG Trials

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Active Non-COG Trials

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Published reports are in compliance with the ACoS, CoC and are standard specific.