Research Highlights - Promise Spring 2018 Discoveries and Achievements DNA approach reveals a ‘hijacking’ The oncogene c-MYC drives high-risk neuroblastoma in some young cancer patients. The findings lay the groundwork for much needed precision medicines. An Achilles heel in a lethal leukemia Scientists have discovered how a link between two proteins in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) enables cancer cells to resist chemotherapy. Improving vaccination rates in hospitals A St. Jude quality improvement initiative that greatly increased the employee vaccination rate for pertussis, or whooping cough, offers a model for other health care institutions nationwide. A double whammy for leukemia patients St. Jude scientists have discovered new germline variations in a tumor suppressor gene called TP53. Children with these variants are at risk of developing leukemia. Origins revealed for immune system’s ‘smart soldiers’ The scientists showed that certain memory T cells develop from T cells originally made by the body for another role. A new avenue to prevent hearing loss The chemotherapy drug cisplatin may help save a child’s life. But that same medication can also damage a child’s hearing. Double the rewards for exercise Want young cancer survivors to stay active? Pilot study finds the chance to earn stickers, T-shirts and other rewards helps keep survivors moving. The buzz about the garden During the past year, about 20,000 bees have been added to the St. Jude Garden to improve pollination in the space. St. Jude was one of the nation’s first hospitals to create a garden dedicated to growing vegetables and herbs for consumption by patients, families, staff and visitors. Most of the garden’s bounty is consumed in the hospital’s cafeteria. The garden team expects to harvest more than 7,000 pounds of produce from the garden in 2018. Sharing science During the hospital’s recent Faculty Postdoctoral Poster Session, Himy Muniz-Talavera, PhD (at left), of St. Jude Developmental Neurobiology explains her research to Fatima Rivas, PhD, of St. Jude Chemical Biology and Therapeutics. The annual event features a variety of posters from St. Jude faculty and coincides with a visit of the hospital’s Scientific Advisory Board. Creative expression Eighteen-year-old Serafin Garcia displays his artwork during the 2018 Teen Art Show. Garcia and other teenagers described their creative works in detail before a crowd of family members and St. Jude employees. The pieces are now on display in the hospital’s Teen Art Gallery. From Promise, Spring 2018 Donate Now Subscribe to Promise Name: Email: Message: Submit Feedback Thank you for your feedback! More articles from this issue When It Comes to Cancer, Children Aren’t Little Adults New research proves that children and adults with cancer often have different mutated genes driving their diseases. This reinforces the need for pediatric-specific precision therapies. School Liaison Services Help Kids Go Back to School after Treatment It takes preparation to make a seamless transition back to the classroom. Find out how St. Jude school liaisons help ease children back into their community schools. XSCID Gene Therapy: A Second Chance The LVSCID clinical trial for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency uses a lentiviral vector to insert a healthy copy of the IL2RG gene into blood cells. Find out about the study results. A Charitable Gift Annuity: The Extra Mile Through a charitable gift annuity, one donor receives payments for life while helping St. Jude kids. St. Jude Employees: The Heartbeat of the Hospital Working at the hospital is more than a job—it’s a calling. Find out why employees dedicate their lives to St. Jude and its mission of finding cures, saving children. Virtual Reality: A Distraction from Sickle Cell Pain St. Jude explores virtual reality as a distraction technique for children and teens undergoing the pain crises of sickle cell disease. Hodgkin Lymphoma: When Lightning Strikes Twice Why are some families struck with multiple cases of Hodgkin lymphoma? Learn about the FAMHL clinical trial designed to pinpoint genetic causes. 6 Ways to Help Teen Patients Navigate Loss Know teens or young adults who have cancer? Here are some tips for helping them deal with grief. Country Cares … And So Does Dad A longtime supporter recalls the day the hospital’s mission got personal. Read his story. Taking Aim at AML: The Mission Continues Protein profiling may identify moving treatments targets for acute myeloid leukemia. Find out how researchers team up in the VENAML clinical trial to reduce cancer development. Life after Cancer Treatment: Incorrigible Optimism A cancer survivor explains why he participates in SJLIFE — a long-term follow-up study to assess late effects of treatments. It’s not “Would I?” It’s “Why wouldn’t I?” The Colors of Caring Pediatric Oncology Nurse Ron Hardin, RN, wears more than 500 colorful wristbands given to him by patients and staff.