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CHOP oncologist leads first SU2C pediatric dream team
Date:4/7/2013

Philadelphia and Washington, April 7, 2013 A physician-researcher from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will lead the first-ever pediatric "Dream Team" solely focused on creating new treatments for the most challenging childhood cancers. Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) and the St. Baldrick's Foundation, along with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), SU2C's scientific partner, announced this Dream Team today during a press conference at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 in Washington, D.C.

John M. Maris, M.D., director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, will lead the pediatric Dream Team, which will have $14.5 million in funding over 4 years, provided by SUC2 and St. Baldrick's. Crystal L. Mackall, M.D., chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is the co-leader of the Dream Team.

The title of the research project, "Immunogenomics to Create New Therapies for High-Risk Childhood Cancers," reflects the melding of two powerful disciplines that have historically functioned independently: immunotherapeutics and genomics. The goal is to rapidly translate promising basic research into transformative, targeted treatments that will improve cure rates in children's cancer.

"The motivation for the creation of this collaborative research project is the realization that completely new strategies are needed if we are to have curative therapies for all childhood cancers," said Maris. "Our Team hopes to rapidly develop more precise and effective treatments based on the unique characteristics of each child's tumor, here focusing on the genetic changes that make the cancer cells different from the rest of the child's body."

Immunotherapeutics focuses on developing treatments that harness the body's own immune system to fight disease. Genomics, th
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Contact: Rachel Salis-Silverman
salis@email.chop.edu
267-970-3685
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert

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