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Research & Innovation | Overview

Our innovative approach

The main objective of our research program is to improve the understanding of bone and soft tissue cancers and develop new ways to treat children with these conditions. We participate in internal research initiatives as well as those directed by the Children’s Oncology Group, an international research collaboration.

Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center 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. All of our senior medical staff members of the Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors Program participate in clinical research activities.

Children’s Oncology Group

Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is the New England Phase I Center of the Children's Oncology Group. If your child has progressive or recurrent bone or soft tissue tumor, she may be eligible for a number of experimental therapies available through these groups, or through one of our independent clinical investigators.

The Children's Oncology Group is a consortium of cancer treatment centers across the United States, Canada, and other countries, that conduct studies of Ewing sarcoma, osteosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and other soft tissue sarcomas. Our participation in the Children’s Oncology Group gives children with bone and soft tissue tumors unparalleled access to the newest clinical trials.

Research for bone and soft tissue tumors

In addition to a wide variety of clinical trials, Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center also conducts extensive laboratory research to identify new treatments and improve therapies for bone and soft tissue tumors.

In the past 20 years, there has only been one new treatment introduced for young patients with osteosarcoma. In addition, children who relapse or who develop lung metastases have fewer effective treatment options. To remedy this, Katie Janeway, MD, a pediatric oncologist and researcher is conducting research in mice in order to identify new treatments for osteosarcoma.

Survivorship and long-term follow-up care

The long-term outcome for children with soft tissue and bone tumors is improving. How well each child does relies on a variety of factors, including the type of tumor and whether the disease has spread (metastasized) by the time of diagnosis. Our research continues to help us understand the causes of cancer so we can develop more targeted, effective therapies.

To assist the many children successfully treated for malignant tumors, we have an established multidisciplinary, long-term follow-up program through Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's David B. Perini Jr. Quality of Life Clinic.

This program helps survivors of all ages address the medical, psychological, and social consequences of their diagnosis and subsequent treatments. Childhood cancer survivors of any age are invited to visit our clinic.