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Study Uses Gene Editing to Take Brakes Off Lab-based Red Blood Cell Production

October 22, 2015
Turning off a single gene leads to a roughly three-to-five-fold gain in the yield of laboratory methods for producing red blood cells from stem cells. These findings, published in Cell Stem Cell, suggest a way to cost-effectively manufacture red blood cells from stem cells; the patients who could potentially benefit include those who cannot use blood currently available in blood banks.

Disparities in Outcomes for Children with Rare Eye Cancer Suggest Unequal Access to Primary Care

October 05, 2015
Disparities in outcomes for children with retinoblastoma — a rare eye tumor usually discovered in routine pediatric check-ups — suggest unequal access to primary care, researchers from Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s report in a study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Although virtually all the children in the study survived, Hispanic children and children who lived in disadvantaged areas were more likely to lose an eye due to late diagnosis.

Almost 1/3 of Families of Children with Cancer Have Unmet Basic Needs During Treatment

September 23, 2015
Almost one-third of families whose children were being treated for cancer faced food, housing or energy insecurity and one-quarter lost more than 40 percent of household income, according to a new study from Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s. The study, which was published in the journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer, follows emerging research in pediatric oncology finding that low-income status predicts poor adherence to oral chemotherapy and decreased overall survival.

Gene Editing Study Reveals Possible "Achilles Heel" of Sickle Cell Disease

September 16, 2015
Researchers from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's, using CRISPR-based gene editing tools, have found that changes to a small stretch of DNA may circumvent the genetic defect behind sickle cell disease (SCD). The discovery, published in the journal Nature, creates a path for developing gene editing approaches for treating SCD and other hemoglobin disorders, such as thalassemia.

U.S. News Names Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s the #1 Pediatric Cancer Program

June 09, 2015
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center remains the nation’s top pediatric cancer program, according to the 2015-16 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals.

Discussing Child’s Cancer Prognosis More Likely to Produce Peace of Mind and Decrease Anxiety in Parents

May 14, 2015
New findings show informing parents about their child’s cancer prognosis – even when the prognosis is less than favorable – is much more likely to give parents peace of mind and hope rather than increase their anxiety or cause them to become depressed. The study was to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

Phase I Trial of Immunotherapy Opens for Children with Relapsed or Treatment-resistant Leukemia

May 11, 2015
Dana-Farber/Boston Children's has joined a clinical trial of immunotherapy for children with relapsed or treatment-resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the trial is one of several nationally that are evaluating cancer immunotherapy, a treatment approach—hailed by Science magazine as their Breakthrough of the Year in 2013—that triggers a patient's immune system to attack his or her cancer cells.

Promising Drug Target Identified in Medulloblastoma

March 26, 2015
Scientists have identified a protein critical to both the normal development of the brain and, in many cases, the development of medulloblastoma, a fast-growing brain tumor that usually strikes children under 10 years of age. The findings point to Eya1 as a prime target for new drugs for this type of medulloblastoma, and for other cancers that share the same path of development.

The Late Effects of Childhood Cancer

March 02, 2015
“The [cancer] therapies that we use in children in order to cure them, especially very young children, can have a significant impact upon their health during childhood, adolescence and adulthood,” Lisa Diller, MD, tells Radio Health.

Five Things Pediatricians Should Know About Children Who’ve Had Cancer

February 17, 2015
Children who’ve had cancer can present challenges for primary care providers that range from early and late effects of treatment to emotional needs.
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