Pediatric Brain Tumor Research: Unique Challenges and Opportunities
Source: Huffington Post
At the age of 10, my friend Sydney was diagnosed with a tumor in her brainstem, the part of the brain that controls life's most vital functions. Her cancer was inoperable and did not respond to other treatments. Sydney, the most vivacious member of my fifth grade class, had her life taken by this unforgiving disease when she was only 11 years old. Pediatric brain cancer touches people's lives in a unique way. "When a tumor grows in the brain it threatens to affect the core of the self," said Dr. Sarah Leary, a physician at Seattle Children's. "The brain is the center of who we are, and it can't be removed and replaced." Couple this integral location with the fact that it's a cancer arising in children, and it's even more disturbing. The apparent randomness in the incidence of pediatric brain cancers clashes with our sense of justice and fairness. While we can look to an aging smoker who develops lung cancer and point to a lifetime of inhaling carcinogens as a causal factor, no such rationale exists with pediatric cancers. However, promising research focused specifically on pediatrics may be the key to unlocking cancer's mysteries.
About Seattle Children’s
Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.
Ranked as one of the top five children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation's top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research.
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