Venous Malformation Pediatric Research and Clinical Trials

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Contact the Vascular Anomalies Center

Research & Innovation

Boston Children's Hospital is a world leader in opening new avenues of  "translational research," bringing laboratory advances to the bedside and doctor's office as quickly as possible. Our Vascular Anomalies Center (VAC) conducts research that may lead to the development of new, more effective therapies and perhaps ultimately result in ways to prevent these anomalies. 

Battling venous malformations at their source

A VM is caused by errors that occur when blood vessels are forming, and our investigators are currently probing the genes and molecules that regulate the formation and growth of blood vessels. Understanding the genes that control these molecular events will hopefully result in new therapies for vascular malformations.

New treatment for venous malformations?

Venous malformations can sometimes grow, requiring aggressive treatment to protect your child's health. Research at Children's has shown that urine testing can help monitor VMs and predict those about to become a serious threat.

These findings suggest that angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) plays a role in the progression of vascular malformations, raising the possibility of curbing these difficult-to-treat anomalies with anti-angiogenic drugs.

''Prior to this study, we had thought it was not possible to treat vascular malformations with drugs, since congenital anomalies generally do not respond to drugs,'' says Steven Fishman, MD, a surgeon on Boston Children's Vascular Anomalies team. ''This study gives us hope that with further research we'll be able to develop drug treatments.''

We’re currently studying why VMs enlarge or return after treatment. Currently no medication is available to treat venous malformations , but our goal is to develop drug treatments for kids with these lesions. Each time we operate on a VM, we investigate a portion of the lesion to learn how the blood vessels enlarge.

“We believe hormones and blood vessel stem cells cause VMs to worsen,” says surgeon Arin Greene, MD, of the Vascular Anomalies Center. “These findings may lead to improved treatment.”

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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