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Genetic Cause Identified in Rare Pediatric Brain Tumor

February 01, 2016
Diagnosis and treatment decisions for a recently recognized type of children’s brain tumor should be improved by the discovery of the genetic mechanism that causes it, say researchers who identified the unusual DNA abnormality in angiocentric gliomas.

Genetic Sequencing Can Help Guide Treatment in Children with Solid Tumors

January 28, 2016
Clinical genomic sequencing is feasible in pediatric oncology and can be used to recommend therapy or pinpoint diagnosis in children with solid tumors, according to the multicenter Individualized CAncer Therapy (iCat) study. The study, published in JAMA Oncology, is one of the first of its kind to be conducted in pediatric oncology. Its findings represent a significant step in making molecularly targeted, personalized therapy available to children with cancer.

Special holiday concert features young violinist and surgeon who removed her brain tumor

December 11, 2015
Last year Sophie Fellows was diagnosed with a brain tumor after a headache kept her from finishing a holiday concert. She just returned for an anniversary holiday concert with her neurosurgeon.

Therapy Directed Against Platelets Does Not Significantly Reduce Painful Crises in Sickle Cell Disease

December 08, 2015
Treatment with the antiplatelet agent prasugrel does not significantly reduce the rate of pain crises or severe lung complications in children with sickle cell disease, according to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine describing one of the largest and most geographically diverse international clinical trials on sickle cell disease to date.

Studies Highlight New Drug Targets or Compounds for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

December 07, 2015
Preclinical data unveiled across four studies presented at the 57th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology highlight four potential treatment opportunities for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a blood cancer accounting for approximately 20 percent of all childhood leukemias and 32 percent of adult leukemias.

Children with Childhood Leukemia Benefit from Prophylactic Antibiotics

December 06, 2015
Prophylactic antibiotics significantly reduce the risk of serious bacterial infections in children during the critical first month of treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer, according to a U.S. and Canadian study led by investigators from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's. While the overall cure rate for ALL is high, about one to two percent of children with this diagnosis die during the first month of therapy from treatment complications, primarily infection-related.

Early Gene Therapy Results in Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Promising

December 06, 2015
Researchers reported promising preliminary outcomes for the first four children enrolled in a U.S. gene therapy trial for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS), a life-threatening genetic blood and immune disorder, at the 57th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

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.
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