Your Child's Care Begins Here
Our Haworth Innovative Therapeutics Clinic is a leader in precision medicine for childhood cancer. We are proud to offer young patients access to clinical trials and the latest treatment strategies for neuroblastoma. We offer phase I and phase II trials that include a sophisticated gene analysis of a tumor sample so that personalized treatment can be designed specifically for each individual child. If surgery is needed as part of treatment, we collaborate with our pediatric surgeons and neurosurgeons, who are skilled at helping kids of all ages.
How precision medicine works
Just as every child is different, so is every tumor. We collect both tumor and normal cells from each patient and our pediatric oncology research laboratory does deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequencing to determine the genomic makeup of the cancer, identifying mutations and pathways activating the tumor. These tumor cells are tested against an extensive panel to identify the most sensitive medication for each child's cancer. Our pediatric oncologists use the clinical genomic analysis to create a personalized treatment plan.
National research consortium
Our pediatric oncology specialists at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital lead the Beat Childhood Cancer consortium, which includes 33 hospitals across the United States, and offers a network of clinical trials for neuroblastoma and other childhood cancers. We collectively enrolled 203 children on our clinical trials in 2017.
Together we successfully completed a pilot study of children with high-risk neuroblastoma using precision medicine at diagnosis combined with standard of care and the addition of DFMO as maintenance therapy. This study showed the safety and feasibility of this approach and was approved to move forward in a Phase II clinical trial.
Treatments We Provide
Your child will likely require chemotherapy before and/or after surgery. If the primary tumor cannot be removed surgically, chemotherapy may become the main treatment.
Radiation uses powerful X-rays to destroy neuroblastoma cells remaining after chemotherapy and surgery.
Immunotherapy ("Antibody Therapy")
Special antibodies are used to direct and stimulate the immune system so it can attack the neuroblastoma cancer cells.
Most children with neuroblastoma will need the primary tumor removed surgically. Surgery is sometimes the only treatment needed if tumors are small and the cancer hasn't spread.
In children with high-risk neuroblastoma, a drug related to vitamin A can help cancer cells turn into mature nerve cells, and prevent the cancer from growing or spreading.