By integrating patient care and research, this faculty team aims to improve outcomes in children with cancer and blood disorders while working to continually provide the best care for all children. A longstanding member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the Section of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology provides the only local access to a variety of investigational treatments. COG, a National Cancer Institute-supported clinical trials group, is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research. Riley Hospital is consistently one of the top five COG centers for clinical trial enrollment.
Precision Medicine and Precision Genomics
Precision medicine, or personalized medicine, offers an ability to optimize management and therapeutic benefits for an individual or specific group of patients. It often uses biomarkers, companion diagnostics or molecular profiling to inform a specific treatment approach and tailor management. This approach aims to attenuate the risk of developing specific illnesses and to target specific treatments for illnesses in order to ultimately keep people healthier. Genomic medicine is the use of an individual’s genetic information to understand the cause of disease, establish a precise diagnosis, and/or identify specific molecular or immune-mediated therapeutic targets. Although these approaches are just beginning to have an impact on health care and outcomes for children, in fields such as oncology, personalized molecular medicine that includes targeted molecular and biological therapeutics, it is already showing significant benefits. The Section of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at IU School of Medicine is making significant inroads in Precision Medicine, allowing doctors and researchers to more accurately predict which treatment and prevention strategy will be effective for certain groups of patients. The Precision Genomics Clinical Program helps children with all types of relapsed or aggressive cancer receive personalized treatment and is the only program of its kind in the midwest to offer this comprehensive, personalized medicine service.
Cancer Survivor Program
The Childhood Cancer Survivor Program at Riley Children’s Cancer Center is designed to help meet the unique needs of the growing population of childhood cancer survivors. Nearly 90 percent of children who are diagnosed with cancer today are expected to survivor their illness. It is now estimated that 375,000 adults are survivors of childhood cancer. Sixty percent of the children who survive their disease suffer devastating late effects, and the multidisciplinary clinic provides surveillance and early intervention for these ongoing medical needs as well as psycho/social support, including education and occupational counseling.