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Therapeutics


Clinical Highlights

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is committed to providing the highest quality of patient care by bringing leading-edge therapies and technologies into the clinic.


Pharmacogenomics study brings personalized medicine to St. Jude patients

The St. Jude PG4KDS study screens patients for common genetic variations in more than 200 genes that may be associated with differences in how drugs affect the body. Results are added to patient medical records for those genes with strong evidence supporting their clinical use. Computational tools developed by St. Jude help clinicians use the results to guide medication decisions.
Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, November 2012


On-site Good Manufacturing Practice facility links bench to bedside

St. Jude was the first pediatric cancer research center in the U.S. with an on-site current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) facility. The Children’s GMP, LLC works with the St. Jude Department of Therapeutics, Production and Quality to help move research from the laboratory to the clinic, producing innovative biotherapeutics and other products in accordance with regulatory guidelines for use in St. Jude-led clinical trials.
New England Journal of Medicine, December 2011


St. Jude to open first proton therapy center devoted solely to children

Slated to open in 2015, the world’s only proton therapy center dedicated solely to the treatment of children is currently under construction on the St. Jude campus. Because the vital organs of children are still developing, the ability to pinpoint treatment for tumors is especially critical. The St. Jude facility has been designed to have one of the narrowest proton beams in the U.S., with accuracy of the system to the millimeter level.


Selected research highlights


Cancer drug shortages mean higher costs and greater risk for patients

A national survey of health professionals shows that drug shortages are taking a heavy toll on cancer patients, forcing treatment changes and delays that for some patients mean worse outcomes, more therapy-related complications and higher costs.
Am J Health Syst Pharm, April 2013


Drug shortage linked to greater risk of relapse in young Hodgkin lymphoma patients

A St. Jude-led national study connects a shortage of the drug mechlorethamine to higher rates of relapse among young patients with Hodgkin lymphoma. The substitute drug used in its place had been considered a safe and effective alternative. Uncovering the first evidence of a drug shortage adversely impacting treatment outcomes, this study underscores the importance of protecting patient access to lifesaving treatments.
New England Journal of Medicine, December 2012


New strategy likely to speed drug development for rare cancers

A pioneering approach to drug development has identified dozens of potential new treatments for ependymoma, including the drug 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), currently in wide use to treat a variety of adult cancers. Based on study results, St. Jude is now conducting a clinical trial of 5-FU in young ependymoma patients.
Cancer Cell, September 2011


Existing drugs offer new treatment options for high-risk childhood leukemia subtype

Discovery of the genetic basis of a high-risk subtype of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer, shows some patients currently at high risk of treatment failure and relapse might benefit from existing targeted therapies.
Cancer Cell, August 2012


Solving mystery of how sulfa drugs kill bacteria yields 21st century drug development target

More than 70 years after the first sulfa drugs helped to revolutionize medical care and save millions of lives, St. Jude researchers have determined at an atomic level the mechanism these medications use to kill bacteria. The discovery provides the basis for a new generation of antibiotics that would likely be harder for bacteria to resist and cause fewer side effects.
Science, March 2012


Target for potent first-strike influenza drugs identified

Our research reveals new details of how certain drugs can precisely target and inhibit an enzyme essential for replication of the influenza virus. These findings may lead to the ability to develop drugs that not only treat influenza but impede the ability of the virus to develop drug resistance.
PLoS Pathogens, August 2012