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In the past three decades there has been a vast improvement in the quality and quantity of life for children diagnosed with childhood cancers. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, along with several major academic centers, have played a important role in this improvement due to new and innovative therapies that have been developed to treat pediatric cancer.
The Brain Tumor Program at St. Jude prides itself in developing new and innovative therapies for our patients. This is possible because the physicians and basic scientists in our laboratories work closely together and rapidly introduce promising therapies to the clinical setting. Prior to treating a patient with any new approach, we conduct extensive tests in the laboratory to determine if this therapy is effective and how the drug can best be used for our patients. This type of direct translation from the laboratory to the clinical setting is one of the major advantages of centers like St Jude.
In addition to the protocols (treatment studies) that we are constantly developing at St. Jude, we also use protocols that are developed by the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC). Many of our faculty members play a key role in developing these protocols, which are large trials that are conducted at participating centers all over the United States.
For patients with recurrent or refractory tumors, we also have a very active Developmental Therapeutics Team whose goals are to: