The Carl C. Anderson, Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation Laboratory
About the Neuroblastoma Research Program
The Texas Children’s Cancer Center neuroblastoma research program is dedicated to laboratory and clinical research focused on increasing our understanding of neuroblastoma and developing new and more effective therapies. Our current research efforts focus on understanding the causes of neuroblastoma, identifying new targets for treatment, and evaluating the efficacy of new therapies.
Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumor in childhood and accounts for almost 10% of childhood cancers. While children with low- and intermediate-risk neuroblastoma have cure rates of over 90%, approximately 40% of children with neuroblastoma have “high-risk” tumors with much lower survival rates, despite aggressive treatment with combinations of chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation, surgery, and radiation therapy. Cases of “high-risk” neuroblastoma are also associated with frequent recurrences and tumors that are resistant to treatment. New treatments are needed for these children to improve the cure rates and reduce the occurrence and severity of the side effects of treatment.
Research is an ongoing priority for the Neuroblastoma Program at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, and our doctors and scientists are continuously striving to translate laboratory discoveries into new treatments for children with neuroblastoma. Our current research efforts focus on understanding the causes of neuroblastoma, identifying new targets for treatment, and evaluating the efficacy of new therapies. Texas Children’s Cancer Center has a large number of laboratories devoted to studying the causes of neuroblastoma and to developing new treatments that can be advanced into clinical trials for children with neuroblastoma. Recent discoveries by Texas Children’s Cancer Center scientists include:
- identification of novel microRNA’s associated with aggressive neuroblastoma (Shohet et al 2011)
- identification of a novel set of circulating biomarkers associated with neuroblastoma (Egler et al 2011)
- identification of novel proteins involved in neuroblastoma resistance to chemotherapy (Shang et al 2010, Zage et al 2012)
- identification of a novel protein associated with neuroblastoma tumor cell growth (Vasudevan et al 2009)
- identification of novel immunotherapy and antiangiogenic treatment combinations effective against neuroblastoma (Louis et al 2011, Patterson et al 2011, Zage et al 2010)
- identification of a novel role for tumor-associated macrophages in the growth of neuroblastoma tumors (Liu et al 2012)
Future research by the scientists in the Neuroblastoma Program at Texas Children’s Cancer Center will continue to explore new pathways, new targets, and new treatments in order to provide the most appropriate and most effective therapy for each and every child with neuroblastoma.
Saurabh Agarwal, PhD
Eveline Barbieri, MD, PhD
Chris DeRenzo, MD, MBA
Andras Heczey, MD
Chrystal Louis, MD, MPH
Leonid Metelitsa, MD, PhD
Bilal Omer, MD
Robin Parihar, MD, PhD
Barbara Savoldo, MD, PhD
Sarah Whittle, MD
Jianhua Yang, PhD
Ananth Annapragada, PhD