The Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian at Columbia University has one of the largest pediatric oncology programs in the United States. Residing within this division is the Pediatric Cancer Foundation Developmental Therapeutics Program (PCFDTP) led by Dr. Julia Glade Bender. The PCFDTP has demonstrated scientific leadership in the field of translational antiangiogenic research through investigations of novel agents which inhibit tumor blood vessel growth by blocking vascular endothelial growth factor. Preclinical work is conducted in the Pediatric Tumor Biology laboratory and clinical translation is carried out by the PCFDTP which strives to deliver patient-centered care while offering innovative approaches not ordinarily available in the community through participation in early phase clinical trials. Columbia University continues to be one of only 21 Phase I institutions supported by the National Cancer Institute and the Children's Oncology Group (COG). Our institution is the only so designated center caring for children and adolescents with cancer in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut tri-state region. Our program is also an active member in the Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia (TACL) Consortia. Support from Alex's Lemonade Stand to recruit and retain a clinical research nurse practitioner has allowed us to simultaneously improve continuity of care for patients, increase accrual to early phase studies without compromising quality of clinical or scientific endpoints, and to focus efforts on trial development and scientific contribution by the PCFDTP investigators.
Project Update (February 2018):
Dr. Julia Glade Bender leads the Pediatric Cancer Developmental Therapeutics Program at Columbia University Medical Center. Funded in part by an ALSF Infrastructure Grant, the program offers over 30 clinical trials and several developmental drugs that offer hope to children who are without treatment options for their relapsed disease.
Support from ALSF has helped the program sustain critical industry partnerships, develop new clinical trials and foster translational research, which adapts laboratory observations into potential breakthrough drugs for kids fighting cancer.
As the field of pediatric oncology continues to search for targeted drugs, the Developmental Therapeutics Program offers access to cutting-edge treatments, which offers hope for children desperate for cures. These studies have the potential to identify new drugs that can help children who relapse while also providing meaningful insights into offering safer treatments from the initial diagnosis to future children affected by cancer.
“Every cancer is different, because every child is different,” said Dr. Glade Bender. “The critical question is: which cure goes with which patient?”
The program has expanded its core infrastructure to support additional clinical trial participation, begun to interpret basic and preclinical research into investigator-initiated clinical trials and establish a workflow to integrate tumor profiling and genomics into therapy recommendations.
“We won’t stop searching for cures, until we are at 100-percent,” said Dr. Glade Bender.