Over 90% of United States and Canadian children and adolescents with cancer are enrolled in Children's Oncology Group (COG) clinical trials with no racial, ethnic or geographic bias to registration, allowing for near- population-based clinical, translational and basic research. Clinical trials conducted by COG and its antecedent organizations have played a major role in these advances and will continue to drive the improvements projected to come in the next decade. The biospecimens collected during these clinical treatment trials are crucial to their success. These biospecimens are sent to centralized laboratories for clinical testing and banking for future research use. The Biopathology Center (BPC) is part of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and houses the COG Solid Tissue Bank as well as the COG ALL Molecular Reference Laboratory and Bank. The COG AML Reference Laboratory and Bank is located at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle, Washington. Currently, the BPC is federally funded to serve several clients (including the Pediatric Division of the Cooperative Human Tissue Network [pCHTN], and the biobanking efforts of the Gynecologic Oncology Group [GOG], the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study [CCSS], and the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program [CTEP]). To accomplish this, the banks continue to work with the aims of the original grant submission in 2004. 1. Establish collection, storage and quality control procedures for tissue banking in pediatric cancer patients that are near-population-based. 2. Ensure proper storage and quality control procedures for pediatric tissue bank biospecimens that promote outstanding retrospective translational research. 3. Ensure proper administration of tissue bank resources to facilitate investigator access to biospecimens. 4. Promote linkage of tissue bank resources to existing demographic, clinical, and biological, treatment and outcome data. 5. Optimize utilization of finite tissue bank resources utilizing emerging technologies.
Today, over 80% of children with cancer are expected to be cured, with an approximately 50% decrease in mortality rate between 1975 and 2006. Five-year survival rates for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and neuroblastoma have seen vast improvements. AML survival increased from under 50% to 60% and neuroblastoma survival rose from 65% to 75%. The higher survival rates of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) improved from 86.8% to 89.0%. COG research has played a major role in improvements.
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