Expansion of the Innovative Therapies Program to Include the Development of a Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Translational Research Program
The Aflac Cancer Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) is one of the largest oncology programs in the United States and is a member of the NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center- Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. Approximately 350 new patients (100-125 brain tumors) and 100 relapsed patients are seen each year. In addition, CHOA serves as the statewide and southeastern referral center for phase I/II patients. In 2002, the Innovative Therapies Program at CHOA was created to provide increased access for patients from Atlanta and the state of Georgia to novel therapies. At the same time, the Aflac Cancer Center Clinical Research Office (CRO) was created to provide critical infrastructure needed to navigate the increasingly complicated world of clinical trials. Approximately 30 oncology phase I and II clinical trials were open for patient enrollment during 2009 and 14 patients have been enrolled on these trials during 2009. There are two existing Clinical Research Nurses for Innovative Therapies enrolling patients onto Phase I and II trials. These trials focus on non-brain tumor solid tumors, leukemias and lymphomas. Within the last year, we have placed particular emphasis on building the research program for children with brain tumors. Specifically, there have been three major faculty additions intended to expand this area of research. This grant seeks funding to hire personnel who will further support the Innovative Therapy program of the CRO to allow a greater number of pediatric brain tumor and other oncology patients to be enrolled on phase I/II trials.