Nearly 60 pediatric oncology researchers and others from Baltimore-Washington arrived at the Giant Food Headquarters in Landover on June 7, 2017 looking forward to a day of research presentations, poster sessions and lively discussion. The Children’s Cancer Foundation, Inc. (CCF) Research Symposium, now in its second year, focused on the advancements on drug treatment for pediatric cancer patients. The brainchild of CCF’s Scientific Advisory Board Chair Jeffrey Toretsky, M.D., the CCF Research Symposium puts forth the belief that small local research dialogue will go a long way toward substantial research collaboration.
“We have a unique opportunity to capitalize upon a rich collection of top childhood cancer researchers in our region that includes leading pediatric oncology research departments,” says Toretsky, who is a professor at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University. “Often, at international conferences where attendance numbers can reach into the tens of thousands, we miss the opportunity to talk about research with someone from literally down the street. The ability to regularly meet face-to-face helps grow a research community.”
Researchers from Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins Hospital and University, Children’s National Medical Center, and National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute presented findings from their latest studies in treating leukemia, sarcomas, and other types of cancer. Research fellows, medical school students taking a year for full time mentored research training in a lab, found this symposium especially helpful, and gave them an opportunity to discuss their studies through the poster session.
In addition to focusing on research advancements, the CCF event injects the human side of the research by including cancer survivors and their family. Noah Grove, a recent high school graduate, spoke of his challenging but rewarding life as a survivor of osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer, which cost him his leg at the age of five. The audience also heard from Erica DeMille, the mother of a son who was diagnosed at infancy with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia, who spoke of her journey advocating for her son and finding hope, and cures, with Dr. Toretsky and his team.
The keynote speaker for the afternoon was Dr. Gregory Reaman, Associate Director for Oncology Science, at the FDA. A leading figure in pediatric oncology for decades, Dr. Reaman previously headed the Division of Hematology-Oncology at D.C.’s Children’s National Medical Center. In his presentation, Dr. Reaman expressed the FDA’s commitment to streamlining approval of drug treatments for childhood cancers, as well as specific guidance for researchers and practitioners seeking drug approval.
Also presenting his research was Dr. Jeffrey Rubens, a pediatric neuro-oncologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and last year’s recipient of the Giant Food Next Gen Award, a CCF research award given to a promising young researcher. “The Symposium gave me an opportunity to share my CCF-funded research to the local pediatric oncology community,” says Dr. Rubens. “I am grateful to CCF and their partnership with Giant Food in providing me with critical seed funding that will improve the lives of patients suffering from atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors, an aggressive type of tumor in the brain.”
CCF looks forward to tracking the progress of connections made at the yearly Research Symposia and to report on profound breakthroughs for treating pediatric cancers. CCF is sincerely grateful to Giant Foods, and Board Member Terry McGowan, for hosting and catering.
Video of each presenter will be available on the CCF Web site shortly.
For more questions about CCF or the symposia, please contact the office at 443-546-4479 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome and Introduction
MORNING SESSION: SARCOMAS
9:50 a.m.-12 noon
- Aerang Kim, M.D., Children’s National Health System: Clinical overview of Ewing sarcoma and NF1 cancers
- Noah Grove, college-bound former patient
- Aykut Uren, M.D., Georgetown University: CD99 inhibition with small molecules in Ewing sarcoma
- Jeffrey A. Toretsky, M.D., Georgetown University: Combination of Vincristine with YK-4-279 in Ewing sarcoma
- Christine A. Pratilas, M.D., Johns Hopkins Hospital: NF1 Associated Cancers
- Selected talk from submitted abstracts
12 noon-12:30 p.m.
Introduction of Dr. Reaman and the topic of New Drugs
Presentation by Greg Reaman, M.D., Associate Director of Oncology Sciences, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
AFTERNOON SESSION: EMBRYONAL TUMORS AND LEUKEMIAS
2:00 – 4:30 p.m.
- Brigitte Widemann, M.D., National Cancer Institute, NIH: New Agents Overview
- Erica DeMille, parent advocate for her son, Tyler
- Patrick Brown, M.D., Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Eric Raabe, M.D., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Hospital: New Therapies for Medulloblastoma
- Jeffrey Rubens, M.D., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Hospital: Brain Tumors
- Mona Elmacken, M.D., Children’s National Medical Center: New Neuroblastoma Targets
- Selected talk from submitted abstracts
RECEPTION AND POSTER SESSION
CCF thanks the following for making this symposium possible:
Jeffrey Toretsky, M.D., Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
and CCF Scientific Advisory Board Chair
CCF Scientific Advisory Board Members
- Amal M. Abu-Ghosh, M.D., Sinai Hospital
- Patrick Brown , M.D., The Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Jeffrey Dome, M.D., Ph.D., Children’s National Health System
- Young Kwok, M.D., University of Maryland Medical Center
- Donald L. Trump, M.D., Inova Schar Cancer Institute
- Aykut Uren, M.D., Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Brigitte Widemann, M.D., National Cancer Institute
Continental breakfast, lunch, and reception refreshments will be provided during this event courtesy of Giant Food.
Topics and speakers from the 2016 Symposium can be found here.