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America is great at beating childhood cancer and it’s about to get better

September 25, 2016
A Plus, a “positive journalism” site co-founded by Ashton Kutcher, highlights new research into the effects of poverty on childhood cancer outcomes, as well as Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s program to help patient families meet their material needs.

What the cancer moonshot might mean for kids

September 16, 2016
The cancer moonshot’s dual focus for pediatrics should be improving outcomes in childhood cancers with low cure rates and alleviating the late effects of treatment, Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s President David A. Williams, MD, and other experts tell US News.

Patriots’ Nate Solder seeks normalcy after hellish year

September 15, 2016
New England Patriots’ player Nate Solder reflects on a difficult year that included his young son’s diagnosis of Wilms tumor, a cancer of the kidney, the Boston Herald reports.

Discovery offers prospect of shorter treatment and cure for chronic myelogenous leukemia

September 14, 2016
Although targeted drugs like Gleevec have revolutionized the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), patients generally must take them for the rest of their lives and may cease benefiting from them over time. In new research that could suggest a road to cure, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital have found that CML stem cells die in response to inhibition of a protein called Ezh2.

BCL11A-based gene therapy for sickle cell disease passes key preclinical test

September 06, 2016
A precision-engineered gene therapy virus, inserted into blood stem cells that are then transplanted, markedly reduced sickle-induced red-cell damage in mice with sickle cell disease, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The work sets the stage for bringing a decades-old discovery about sickle cell disease to the bedside. A clinical gene therapy trial, using a virus rendered harmless in the laboratory, is expected to launch in 2017.

Outpatient bloodstream infections costly for pediatric stem cell transplant and cancer patients

August 29, 2016
Pediatric stem cell transplant and cancer patients often are discharged from the hospital with an external central venous line for medications that parents or other caregivers must clean and flush daily to avoid potentially life-threatening infections. If an outpatient develops a bloodstream infection associated with the central line, the median charges to treat it total $37,000 for a hospital stay of six days for young patients whose disease treatments have weakened their immune systems.

Gene therapy trial wrenches families as one child’s death saves another

July 20, 2016
MIT Technology Review reports on a gene therapy trial in Italy that has reported strong early results for an inherited neurodegenerative disease. The trial, led by Alessandra Biffi, MD – now director of gene therapy at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s – helped a number of babies identified through newborn screening after an older sibling died of metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD).

Biden should take a note from the original moonshot: Focus on just one cancer

June 30, 2016
In an opinion piece for Boston Globe Media’s Stat, the author argues for focusing the cancer Moonshot on diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma or DIPG – the universally fatal pediatric brain tumor that claimed the life of original moonshot astronaut Neil Armstrong’s daughter.

Finding a cure wouldn’t mean we’ve defeated cancer

June 29, 2016
While the cancer Moonshot aims to double the rate of progress toward improving cure rates, the Huffington Post quotes Chief Medical Officer Lisa Diller, MD, in a piece asks if enough attention is being paid to survivors, particularly survivors of pediatric cancer.

Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s remains nation’s #1 pediatric cancer program

June 21, 2016
U.S. News & World Report has once again ranked Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center the nation’s #1 pediatric cancer program in its new 2016-17 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.
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