Mon, Sep 22, 2014 09:13
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Texas Children's Cancer Center to open world's first pediatric lymphoma research center

Texas Business reports:  HOUSTON—Texas Children's Cancer Center opened Fayez Sarofim Lymphoma Center, the first and only center in the world dedicated specifically to the research, care and treatment of children with lymphoma.

This research center was made possible by a generous gift of $10 million to Texas Children's Hospital. For more information about pediatric lymphomas please visit www.txch.org.

Cancer remains the leading cause of non-accidental death in children and lymphomas are the third most common malignancy in childhood. Modern therapies to treat children with lymphomas primarily involve chemotherapy which is occasionally supplemented with radiation treatment.

Although the outlook for children with lymphoma has generally improved in recent years, substantial challenges still exist. First, not all lymphoma patients respond to initial treatment and a significant portion of those patients who do respond initially will eventually relapse – usually the result of the development of drug resistance. Additionally, current treatments can be associated with both short-term and long-term adverse effects that may negatively impact a lymphoma survivor's quality of life.

The Fayez Sarofim Lymphoma Center at Texas Children's Cancer Center will conduct research on the biology of lymphomas, use the information gained from laboratory and basic research to develop new diagnostic approaches and identify therapeutic targets and new approaches to therapy.

“Our researchers have already developed effective cell-based therapies that have demonstrated extremely exciting clinical results and we are also evaluating new chemotherapeutic agents with significant clinical promise,” said Catherine Bollard, director of the Fayez Sarofim Lymphoma Center, in a prepared statement. “The formation of this new research center will allow the physician scientists and researchers at Texas Children's Cancer Center to expand on this progress in exponential ways.”

Advances made at the center will be shared with pediatric oncologists around the world.

“The breakthrough discoveries that take place in the laboratories of the Fayez Sarofim Lymphoma Center will represent the future of lymphoma treatment and the best hope for children with this disease,” said David Poplack, director of Texas Children's Cancer Center and professor of pediatric oncology at Baylor College of Medicine. “This generous gift ensures our physicians and researchers are able to continue developing the most advanced therapies in our search for a cure for pediatric lymphoma.”

Texas Children's Cancer Center conducts more new agent studies for childhood cancer than any center in the world.