With hopes of improving the lives and prognosis of our patients, the physicians and researchers in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center conduct extensive clinical and laboratory research at the Les Nelkin Memorial Pediatric Oncology Laboratory.
Scientists at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have created a clever model to show how leukemia cells hide in the bone marrow niche and then grow and divide throughout the human body. Sarah R. Vaiselbuh, MD, and her colleagues figured out a way to create a human to human microenvironment in the laboratory so that they can study the disease process and eventually use the model to test new treatments.
According to Dr. Vaiselbuh, leukemia cells hide in niches in the bone marrow where they take cover from chemotherapy. After chemotherapy treatments, the dormant leukemia cells sneak out of their niches and begin growing and pushing beyond the territory of the bone marrow. The Feinstein scientists think this might be one explanation for relapse in leukemia. Dr. Vaiselbuh believes this model of the human leukemia stem cell niche could be used to develop novel ways to treat leukemia and prevent its relapse.
Clinical trials for children are designed first and foremost around the concept that their health concerns are unique and not just on a smaller scale than adult illness. Infants, children and adolescents face health concerns that can have an impact on their very development.
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