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Pediatric Specialty Updates

December 2017

Survivorship Conference May 2018

The 13th annual Cancer Survivorship Conference will be held May 5, 2018, at the McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis. The free educational conference focuses on issues cancer survivors and stem cell transplant recipients and their families often face after treatment. It introduces participants to a support network and provides an opportunity to interact with survivor-focused providers and other cancer survivors. Details and registration information will be posted in January 2018 at mhealth.org/ childhoodsurvivor.

Researchers key in developing osteosarcoma clinical trial

University of Minnesota researchers provided key contributions in the development of protocols for use in a national clinical trial of the monoclonal antibody VX15/2503 in osteosarcoma patients. VX15/2503 inhibits SEM4D, a transmembrane signaling protein involved in neuroinflammatory and oncogenic processes. Emily Greengard, MD, wrote the trial protocol and will serve as the national principal investigator. Branden Moriarity, PhD, conducted the preclinical laboratory work, playing a role in the discovery of SEM4D’s function as a potential oncogenic driver in osteosarcoma. The trial begins recruiting in coming months.

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— Robin Williams, MD

Pediatric cancer specialist joins University of Minnesota Health

Pediatric hematologist-oncologist Robin Williams, MD, has joined University of Minnesota Health. She received her medical degree from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. She completed a fellowship in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant at University of Minnesota.

New CAR-T drugs approved

The Food and Drug Administration has approved 2 gene therapy drugs, the first CAR T-cell therapies approved in the United States. Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) was approved for the treatment of certain types of B-cell lymphoma in patients who have not responded or have relapsed after at least 2 other kinds of therapy. Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) was approved in treating pediatric and young adults (up to 25 years old) for B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia refractory to or in second or later relapse. Both drugs are created by modifying patients’ T-cells and reinjecting them.

Related Articles

December 2017

Managing the Health Needs of Pediatric Cancer Survivors

New therapies have boosted the survival rate for young cancer patients, yet many will face chronic or serious conditions later in adulthood. Multidisciplinary, long-term follow-up is improving their prospects.

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December 2017

Tailored Follow-Up Care Helps Pediatric Cancer Survivor Stem Health Risks

A childhood cancer survivor finds herself facing later health effects, including a heart valve condition and carcinomas. Long-term follow-up care helps her address care needs and maintain her health.

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