Home » Behind the U.S.News & World Report Rankings: #2 in Pediatric Cancer (YouTube)
#2 pediatric cancer, 2016-2017 U.S. News and World Report
Dr. David Poplack, Director of Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
One of the important things about rankings is that it gives parents who are looking for the right place to take their child with cancer, a place to start. The old statement that “it takes a village” is so very true when it comes to pediatric cancer care.
It’s not about just having the smartest and the best pediatric cancer specialist in the country—you also have to have a whole host of supportive services that know what can happen to a child with cancer and are able to be there and to provide the state-of-the-art care.
I can imagine that what parents are looking for is a place that will leave no stone unturned in the search for a cure for their child with cancer. And the one thing that we are uniquely able to do is to check off that at every level.
We have the largest center in the country. We see the rare, we see the unusual, and most importantly, we know how to treat it. It’s like anything else—there’s no substitute for experience.
We have so many subspecialists within the field of pediatric oncology that we’re able to have teams that are devoted to specific diseases. So for example, one of the diseases that we treat is histiocytosis. Most centers in the United States may see 5 or 6 children with histiocytosis per year—we see 150. And that’s 2 of a variety of different diseases that in most centers would be considered unusual, but here are not.
Texas Children’s Cancer Center happens to be one of the largest research centers for childhood cancer in the world. We have almost 400 people who are in 42 different laboratories that are researching all aspects of pediatric cancer. We have about 200 clinical studies ongoing at this center at any one time. There are many therapies that are available here, that are effective therapies, that aren’t available elsewhere so we have patients coming not only from all over the country, but all over the world to get treatments that are uniquely available at Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
One of the things that’s most important is that a child with cancer should be treated in a children’s hospital. We are particularly fortunate at Texas Children’s Hospital because we’re one of the 2 hospitals in the United States that has every subspecialty of pediatric care available. We want to put our arm around the patient or the family at the time of diagnosis and be with them every step along the way.