This proposal constitutes the renewal application of the Pediatric Oncology Clinical Research Training Program (POCRTP), developed by Baylor College of Medicine's (BCM) Texas Children's Cancer Center. This training program is predicated on the premise that the development of pediatric oncologists who are highly trained in clinical research is essential for ongoing advancements in the treatment of childhood cancer. This renewal application highlights the impressive academic accomplishments and progress of the individual Scholars trained during the last fourteen years, with an emphasis on results from the last funding period. Scholars must have completed a three-year pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship training program and be either board-eligible or - certified in that subspecialty to be eligible. The program is structured to provide a formal, comprehensive, multidisciplinary clinical research educational program. They receive a three-year combination of didactic and mentored training experience in the design, implementation, conduct, and analysis of clinical research trials. The program emphasizes training in therapeutic research that occurs in team research settings in which basic and clinical scientists interact to expedite the translation of basic research discoveries into patient-oriented therapeutic cancer research. The program includes participation in a core didactic course in clinical investigation and trial design, provided through BCM's Clinical Scientist Training Program, and an in-depth clinical research training experience focused in one of five specialized research Pathways, chosen by each Scholar, and tailored to meet the individual Scholar's long-term career goals. The POCRTP Pathways include: Clinical Pharmacology and Developmental Therapeutics, Neuro-oncology, Cell and Gene Therapy, Hematologic Malignancies, and Solid Tumors. An elective rotation at the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program is a feature of this program. All Scholars receive comprehensive mentorship from a laboratory research (basic) mentor and from a clinical research mentor. They receive in-depth instruction in clinical trial design, statistical analysis, research ethics, regulatory requirements and guidelines, scientific writing, grantsmanship, and leadership. In addition, Scholars design and conduct clinical trials in their respective Pathways. This POCRTP has had significant representation from underrepresented minorities. The overall experience to date indicates that Scholars who complete this program are exceptionally well-trained in clinical research, highly successful in obtaining NIH funding, and well- positioned to become future leaders in pediatric oncology clinical research. Of the 21 Scholars who have completed this program, 6 are Associate Professors, 12 are Assistant Professors, one is an attending physician at a children's hospital, and two have clinical research positions in the pharmaceutical industry.
This Pediatric Oncology Clinical Research Training Program (POCRTP) provides a comprehensive clinical research educational program that trains pediatric oncologists in clinical research, and the program seeks to produce the next generation of leaders in the field of pediatric cancer clinical research. The trainees, designated ?Paul Calabresi Scholars,? receive a mentored training experience in the design, implementation, conduct, and analysis of clinical research trials. The ultimate goal of the POCRTP is to educate Scholars to translate basic research discoveries into innovative treatments using effective clinical trials, thereby improving the prognosis of children with cancer.
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