National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is coming to a close, but new research endeavors are continuing the momentum and driving toward better treatment options.
Monthly Archive: September 2017
Summer vacation is over, and the kids have strapped on their backpacks and headed back to school for what parents and teachers hope will be a fruitful year.
Notable awards, new autism initiatives, and a novel approach to managing sickle cell disease are all part of this week’s roundup of research news.
Bone mineral accrual doesn’t keep pace with height growth prior to adolescence, according to a national study. After a teenager reaches adult height, bone mineral accrual tends to play catch-up: Roughly 10 percent of bone mass continues to accumulate after height growth is complete. The study findings also suggest that bone growth is site-specific, with bone mineral density developing at different rates in different parts of the skeleton.
Editor’s Note: This occasional blog series features stories of CHOP research heroes who have participated in clinical research studies. Without the generosity and dedication of families, patients, and members of the public who take the time to be a part of research, many trials would not succeed.
Meet Clay Maresca: The happy, healthy 2 ½-year-old loves to wear hats (which mom, Amy, loves to buy for him), play with balls, and has a throwing arm so strong it surprises everyone he meets.
But Clay didn’t begin life with the physical strength he wows people with today. When he was just a 25-weeks-and-3-day-old fetus, Amy’s uterus ruptured, and she and her husband, Rob, were faced with the possibility that Clay would be born premature. Placed in a frightening situation, Amy and Rob decided to transfer to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Newborn Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. They wanted to take advantage of CHOP’s rich research background – faced with the potential that their baby would need special care and attention.
As a student at McMaster University in Canada, Barbara Schmidt, MD, attending neonatologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and director of Clinical Research, Neonatology at Penn Medicine, met William A. Silverman, MD, for the first time. Known as the father of neonatal intensive care, Dr. Silverman had given a talk that inspired Dr. Schmidt in its rigorous and questioning approach to newborn research and care: Both Dr. Silverman and Dr. Schmidt believed that nothing but the sharpest evidence should back the decisions we make when treating sick infants. Though she didn’t know it at the time, decades later, Dr. Schmidt would give a lecture on the same subject – one that, in fact, was in Dr. Silverman’s honor.
September marks National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and this year at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, we kick-started the commemorative period on the heels of exciting news about breakthroughs in pediatric cancer immunotherapy research. Oncology investigators at CHOP also got a big boost in research funding from Hyundai’s nonprofit organization, Hope on Wheels. And that’s only the beginning: Since September marks the return of the football season, we’re thrilled to share the latest headlines on how the National Football League (NFL) is helping to drive concussion research.
As summer fades, it’s exciting to embrace a new season filled with vibrant opportunities. The Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is ushering in the fall with a call for applications to its Pilot Grant Program. The program aims to support CHOP investigators who are interested in conducting studies designed to gather evidence about novel strategies that could shift current research or a clinical practice paradigm.
A tantrum, a kick, a meltdown: In school-age children with autism, these aggressive and oppositional behaviors – described collectively as “challenging behaviors” – are some of the biggest struggles reported by parents and teachers. New research from the Center for Autism Research (CAR) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests that these behaviors arise when children don’t have the skills they need to cope with situations or problems in an adaptive and healthy way. Working on skills such as emotion regulation, impulse control, cognitive inflexibility, and others that the researchers identified may be a helpful approach.