Pediatric Oncology Program

Program Leaders: Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD and Kai Tan, PhD

The goal of the Pediatric Oncology Program is to cure childhood cancers while minimizing acute and long-term consequences of the diseases and their treatments. Specific goals include:

  • Characterizing the molecular pathogenesis of childhood cancers using genomic, epigenetics and cell biology approaches and translating these discoveries into new diagnostic tools, biomarkers and therapeutic targets, such as the identification of ALK and TRKB genetic alterations in neuroblastoma
  • Discovering and developing immunotherapies that target tumor-specific antigens on childhood cancers, such as CTL019 for CD19 expressing cancers like acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Improving outcomes for childhood cancers by designing and conducting innovative clinical trials of selective, biologically-targeted new therapies and improving methods of delivering conventional agents by studying their pharmacokinetics and pharmacoepidemiology, such as our pharmacokinetic studies of the anti-GD2 chimeric monoclonal antibody, dinutuximab
  • Minimizing the acute and long-term physical and psychological effects of cancer treatment in children using an integrated approach that incorporates psychosocial, survivorship and cancer control outcome measures, including the development of cryopreservation of pre-pubertal gonadal tissue for fertility preservation

The Program has fully integrated basic, translational and clinical research components and a comprehensive research portfolio ranging from studies of the genetic and cellular basis of the malignant phenotype in embryonal cancers to psychosocial studies performed in childhood cancer survivors to enhance their quality of life. Program members have expertise in genetics/genomics, cell biology, immunobiology, clinical pharmacology, epidemiology, psychology, computational biology, survivorship, and clinical research. The Program is internationally recognized for its contributions and leadership in childhood cancer research.

Pediatric Oncology Program Membership