Home » The Next Step in Cancer Research: David G. Poplack, M.D. – No matter what…
January 1, 2006 – Baylor College of Medicine Solutions
By Ruth SoRelle, M.P.H.
Walk through the Texas Children’s Cancer Center on any given day and you might see a ballerina from the Houston Ballet standing en pointe, or a violinist performing for a rapt group of youngsters.
At a table nearby, children draw pictures as part of an Arts In Medicine program while mothers chat and nurses help with an IV.
It’s a tableau Dr. David Poplack could hardly have envisioned in 1993 when BCM President Dr. Ralph Feigin and Texas Children’s Hospital President Mark Wallace asked him to leave the National Institutes of Health to build the best pediatric hematology/oncology program in the nation.
“That was music to my ears,” said Dr. Poplack.
Today, there are 87 faculty members, over 500 employees and 26 different laboratories, all doing work related to childhood cancer and blood diseases. The Center also pursues nearly 300 innovative studies and has “more new agent clinical trials in progress than many drug companies.”
Texas Children’s Cancer Center is also home to one of the largest pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship programs in the country, and partners with The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in a Childhood Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention program. In McAllen, Texas, the Center operates the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer Clinic, Long-Term Survivor Clinic, and Cancer Genetics Clinic.
“We have a philosophy,” said Poplack. “It is not enough to simply to give the correct chemotherapy. We must provide outstanding psychosocial support. We embrace our patients and their families and are with them throughout their cancer experience, no matter what they need, no matter the outcome.”