Solid Tumor

Division of Solid Tumor


Alberto Pappo, MD

Divisional Focus

The mission of the Solid Tumor Division is to develop and test novel therapeutic interventions for the treatment of pediatric solid tumors, in particular, those at high risk of treatment failure.

The mission of the Solid Tumor Division is accomplished through excellent inpatient care, and through the rational development of new cytotoxics and other biologic, whose antitumor activity can be tested in hypothesis based-research. In addition, the development of treatment programs for other common solid tumors through extramural collaborations, i.e. COG, reflects our commitment to improving cure rates for all pediatric solid tumors. This work is accomplished through the development and validation of new therapies (cytotoxics, biologics, etc.) and through the discovery of relationships between disease (tumor) and therapy-specific factors.

Using an approach that incorporates preclinical models and pharmacokinetic studies, we have focused our recent clinical research efforts on the development of the topoisomerase I inhibitors topotecan and irinotecan. Studies validating the concept of pharmacokinetically – guided and targeting the systemic exposures of these agents and assessing their oral bioavailability are currently underway. For example, recent findings show that oral administration of irinotecan produces SN-38 plasma levels in a range that approximate those that are effective in preclinical models.

Other research initiatives focus on improving our understanding of tumor biology (e.g. telomerase activity, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [HER-2] expression). Ongoing studies are assessing the efficacy of new hematopoietic growth factors such as thrombopoietin and SD-01 (pegylated G-CSF) in the context of intensive chemotherapy for pediatric sarcomas and relapsed tumors.

Contact Us

Solid Tumor Division
MS 260, Room C6017
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105-3678

Phone: (901) 595-4055
FAX: (901) 595-4011

Preferred contact method: email


Michael W. Bishop, MD  Osteosarcoma, bone and soft tissue sarcomas, rhabdoid tumors

Rachel C. Brennan, MD  Retinoblastoma, novel therapeutics, renal tumors

Sara M. Federico, MD  Drug development, pediatric soft tissue sarcomas

Wayne L. Furman, MD  New drug development, neuroblastoma, liver tumors

Mark E. Hatley, MD, PhD  Cellular and molecular origins of rhabdomyosarcoma

Catherine G. Lam, MD, MPH  International outreach, solid tumors, improving adolescent outcomes

Alberto Pappo, MD  New therapies for sarcomas and rare pediatric cancers

Victor M. Santana, MD  Novel therapeutics, neuroblastoma, research ethics