Texas Children's Cancer Center receives $10 million gift to open The Fayez Sarofim Lymphoma Center, the world's first pediatric lymphoma research center

Jun 26, 2012, 08:30 ET from Texas Children's Hospital

HOUSTON, June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Texas Children's Cancer Center announced today the opening of the Fayez Sarofim Lymphoma Center, the first and only center in the world dedicated specifically to the research, care and treatment of children with lymphoma. This innovative research center was made possible by a generous gift of $10 million to Texas Children's Hospital. For more information about pediatric lymphomas please visit www.txch.org.

Cancer remains the leading cause of non-accidental death in children and lymphomas are the third most common malignancy in childhood. Modern therapies to treat children with lymphomas primarily involve chemotherapy which is occasionally supplemented with radiation treatment. Although the outlook for children with lymphoma has generally improved in recent years, substantial challenges still exist. First, not all lymphoma patients respond to initial treatment and a significant portion of those patients who do respond initially will eventually relapse – usually the result of the development of drug resistance. Additionally, current treatments can be associated with both short-term and long-term adverse effects that may negatively impact a lymphoma survivor's quality of life.

Texas Children's Hospital is helping to address these issues in the newly formed Fayez Sarofim Lymphoma Center at Texas Children's Cancer Center which will conduct breakthrough laboratory research on the biology of lymphomas, use the information gained from laboratory and basic research to develop new diagnostic approaches and identify novel therapeutic targets and new approaches to therapy.

"Our researchers have already developed effective cell-based therapies that have demonstrated extremely exciting clinical results and we are also evaluating new chemotherapeutic agents with significant clinical promise. The formation of this new research center will allow the physician scientists and researchers at Texas Children's Cancer Center to expand on this progress in exponential ways," said. Dr. Catherine Bollard, director of the Fayez Sarofim Lymphoma Center.

This new center will become the leading site for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for the treatment of childhood lymphoma and the focal point for childhood lymphoma research. The advances made at the center will not only impact patients at Texas Children's Cancer Center, but children throughout the country and around the world who will be treated on therapies developed at this new research center. Advances made at the center will be shared with pediatric oncologists around the world. 

"The breakthrough discoveries that take place in the laboratories of the Fayez Sarofim Lymphoma Center will represent the future of lymphoma treatment and the best hope for children with this disease," said Dr. David Poplack, director of Texas Children's Cancer Center and professor of pediatric oncology at Baylor College of Medicine. "This generous gift ensures our physicians and researchers are able to continue developing the most advanced therapies in our search for a cure for pediatric lymphoma." 

In recent years, Texas Children's Cancer Center has amassed a significant group of clinical and laboratory researchers who possess unique skills in the field of lymphoma research. The Cancer Center has a unique translational research infrastructure already in place which comprehensively integrates both laboratory and clinical research efforts and the research advances that emanate from these laboratories are rapidly translated into clinical studies. In fact, Texas Children's Cancer Center conducts more new agent studies for childhood cancer than any center in the world.

Dr. Kenneth McClain, clinical director of the new Fayez Sarofim Lymphoma Center noted that "this extraordinary gift will help expand the number of innovative therapies that will be available to treat our young patients. Our ultimate goal is to find a cure for all children with lymphoma."

About Texas Children's Cancer Center
As an international leader in pediatric cancer research and treatment, Texas Children's Cancer Center is dedicated to providing novel therapies and family-centered care to children from infancy through young adulthood with cancer and blood disorders – from the most common to rare. The Texas Children's Cancer Center is a joint program of Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine and is the pediatric program of BCM's NCI-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center. U.S.News & World Report ranked the Center #1 outside the northeast United States, as well as #1 in Texas. Texas Children's Cancer Center treats more childhood cancer patients than any other program in the U.S., with patients coming from 35 states and 26 countries around the world. Learn more at www.txccc.org.

Contact: Jenn Blackmer

SOURCE Texas Children's Hospital