Home » Texas Children’s Cancer Center enters “sister” agreement with French insitution to fight childhood cancer
May 27, 2005
By Laura Frnka
One of the largest pediatric cancer and blood disorder programs of its kind in the U.S., Texas Children’s Cancer Center at Texas Children’s Hospital, has signed a sister institution agreement with Centre Léon Bérard in Lyon, France, one of France’s largest comprehensive hospitals dedicated to cancer treatment and research.
“This relationship will foster collaboration in research that will help speed efforts that may lead to cures for childhood cancer and blood disorders,” said Dr. David Poplack, director of Texas Children’s Cancer Center and head of the hematology-oncology section in the department of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “Our relationship with Centre Léon Bérard will continue to position us as an international leader in the treatment and prevention of childhood cancer.”
Further development of a vaccine being pioneered at Texas Children’s against neuroblastoma, one of the most common solid tumors of early childhood, is among the list of goals for the sister agreement. Collaborative research in cancer genomics and genetics, as well as joint efforts to study new therapies for childhood cancer are also on the list of endeavors.
The agreement comes at a time when the Office of Science and Technology in Washington, D.C. is encouraging cooperation between the U.S. and France, particularly in the area of new drug therapies.
“Both centers will have the opportunity to develop meaningful joint clinical and basic laboratory research programs to improve the outlook for children with cancer and blood diseases around the globe,” said Dr. Raphaël Rousseau, a staff member at Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine.
Rousseau, originally from France, came to Texas Children’s as a research fellow in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT), and will join the Centre Léon Bérard in September 2005.
“Dr. Rousseau has been instrumental in enabling this agreement,” said Poplack. “His experience and knowledge of both centers will be invaluable to the success of this sister relationship.”
In 2007, the Centre Léon Bérard will join forces with Lyon’s University Hospitals (Hospices Civils de Lyon) to open the Institut d’Hémato-Oncologie Pédiatrique, a center designed exclusively for pediatric cancer and blood disorder patients. The center will mirror Texas Children’s Cancer Center in several ways and will be the largest pediatric hematology/oncology center in Europe.
France is only one of several international partnerships that Texas Children’s Cancer Center has established.