Research & Innovation
Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Centeris the world’s largest research program at a pediatric institution, and we’re known for pioneering new treatments. A large part of our success comes from our commitment to research—and to advancing the frontiers of what’s possible through our innovative approach.
Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are also conducting numerous research studies to help better understand and treat soft tissue sarcomas.
Types of treatment currently being studied include:
- angiogenesis inhibitors, substances that may be able to prevent the growth of tumors
- biological therapies, a wide range of substances that may be able to involve the body's own immune system to fight cancer or lessen harmful side effects of some treatments
OncoMap: A personalized approach to treatment
OncoMap is a new approach of mass spectrometry (a method of looking at genes at a molecular level) used at the Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center. Mass spectrometry is a screening technology typically used for detecting changes in genetic material, DNA. OncoMap is using that same technology to look at the genetic material of tumors, essentially looking at the genetic code of the tumor and revealing information about the tumor that could help create treatment plans that can be personalized to the genetic characteristics of the patient’s tumor. To use a sports analogy, it would be like seeing the playbook of your opponent which would reveal vulnerable places to attack your opponent. Similarly, OncoMap can provide genetic information about the tumor and could help create a unique treatment plan to attack the cancer in the most effective way.
|Patents and cancer research|
|The American Civil Liberties Union lead a lawsuit against Myriad Genetics and the U.S. patent system, claiming that patents on the genes connected to hereditary ovarian and breast cancers gives Myriad Genetics a monopoly on drug development, and may raise drug costs. Contrary to ther position, there is also the pro-patent argument that patents serve as an incentive for pharmaceutical companies to research cancer and develop new drugs and treatments. The colliding economic, ethical and legal aspects of the issue are important to discuss and understand. Read more and join the conversation on Children’s Vector blog.|