The major goals of the Pediatric Cancer Program are: 1) to increase understanding of the biology of pediatric malignancies through comprehensive molecular, proteomic and genomic analysis of these diseases, 2) to use information from these studies to improve diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic approaches for pediatric cancers, 3) to identify novel molecular targets that may be exploited therapeutically, 4) to study the genetic pre-disposition for selected pediatric cancers, 5) to identify effective therapies and conduct innovative Phase I and Phase II trials, and 6) to study the late effects of childhood cancer therapy and improve outcomes of survivors. The Program also mentors and trains pediatric oncology fellows and NCI-funded post-fellowship clinical research trainees. The Pediatric Program is located at Texas Children's Hospital and is one of the largest pediatric cancer programs in the nation. Approximately 550 new pediatric cancer patients are seen each year. The Pediatric Program Leader is David Poplack, M.D.;the Co-Leader is Ching Lau, M.D, Ph.D. The Pediatric Program has 23 Research Members, 22 Members and 25 Clinical Investigators from a variety of Departments at Baylor College of Medicine (including Pediatrics, Surgery, Neurosurgery, Radiation Therapy, Ophthalmology, and Pathology) and from the Bio-Engineering Department at Rice University. Last year, the Program had $3,734,599 in support from the NCI and $7,673,535 in peer-reviewed funding. Members of the program published 230 cancer related publications in peer-reviewed journals of which 53% represented intraprogrammatic collaborations and 27% interprogrammatic collaborations. Major research themes of the Pediatric Program include: 1) biologic and therapeutic studies of pediatric solid tumors, 2) pediatric cancer developmental therapeutics, and 3) pediatric brain tumor research. The Pediatric Program is one of the most active pediatric cancer research programs in the U.S. The Program has 221 IRB approved, cancer related protocols. Of these 128 are clinical trials, 25 of which were developed by Pediatric Program investigators. The Program conducts numerous clinical trials through its formal affiliations with the NCI-supported Children's Oncology Group, Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium and New Advances in Neuroblastoma Treatment Network. Clinical research is performed in the outpatient and inpatient facilities of Texas Children's Hospital. Numerous inter-and intra-programmatic and inter-institutional collaborations are carried out to enhance both laboratory and clinical research programs. Regular interactive and didactic conferences and meetings are an integral part of the exchange of scientific knowledge within and outside the Program. The Pediatric Program conducts significant outreach activities on a local, regional, national and international level.

Public Health Relevance

The Pediatric Cancer Program performs clinical and laboratory research aimed at improving our understanding the biology of childhood cancer. The main goal of this research is to develop new treatments that improve the outlook for patients with these diseases. The results of the research conducted in this program is made available to cancer researchers worldwide.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Baylor College of Medicine
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