Development of a Childhood Leukemia Translational Research Program
Despite improvements in outcome over the last few decades, 15-20% of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and 40-50% with acute myelogenous leukemia ultimately succumb to their disease. Furthermore, current treatments result in many serious short- and long-lasting side effects. New and more effective therapies are urgently needed to increase cure rates and decrease treatment-related morbidity and mortality.
In 2008, building upon its longstanding and internationally recognized expertise in childhood leukemia research, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Children's Hospital Cancer Care (DF/CHCC) created a Childhood Leukemia Translational Research Program in order to more rapidly bring new treatments discovered in our laboratories to children with leukemia. Such trials require rigorous oversight and meticulous attention to detail if they are to be performed safely and in compliance with federal and institutional regulations. With the financial resources we received in 2009 from the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Infrastructure Award, we were able to hire key study personnel needed to conduct clinical trials of new agents. The addition of a Research Nurse and Clinical Research Coordinator to our program provided essential support for important logistical issues, including protocol compliance, regulatory oversight, data collection, and research sample acquisition. Because of the key infrastructural support provided by these personnel, we were able to open several innovative clinical trials testing new agents in children with relapsed leukemia. We seek a renewal of the Infrastructure Award so that we may build upon this early success and accelerate the development of additional novel therapies to improve the outcome of children with leukemia.
**Co-funded with I Care I Cure Foundation