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Linda McAllister-Lucas, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, has been selected as a member of the prestigious Pediatric Cancer MoonShot Consortium.
The announcement was made at the Cancer MoonShot 2020 press conference held this week in Phoenix.
Dr. McAllister-Lucas is an internationally recognized expert in lymphoma whose research has provided new insights into the molecular basis of these types of cancers.
The Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program is a cancer collaborative initiative seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next-generation standard of care for cancer patients. This group aims to explore a new paradigm in cancer care by initiating randomized Phase II trials involving 20,000 patients with 20 tumor types within the next 36 months. These findings will inform Phase III trials and the aspirational “moonshot” to develop effective, vaccine-based immunotherapies to combat cancer by 2020.
The newly formed consortium will focus on bringing the promise of immunotherapy to children diagnosed with the disease. The group will seek to apply the most comprehensive diagnostic testing available—whole genomic and proteomic analysis—and leverage proven and promising combination immunotherapies and clinical trials under the QUantitative, Integrative Lifelong Trial (QUILT) Program within the Cancer MoonShot 2020 mission.
“Less than 1 percent of cancers in the United States occur in pediatric patients. And yet, the loss of years and quality of life to pediatric cancer is huge,” said Dr. McAllister-Lucas, also an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “The Cancer MoonShot 2020 will pour resources into research investigating the cause, the diagnosis and the treatment of pediatric cancers. This MoonShot will start a new era of hope for our patients and their families, and will lead the way toward more effective, less toxic treatments, and higher quality, longer lives for children with cancer.”
Dr. McAllister-Lucas is one of 10 members from various academic centers across the United States to be included in the consortium. Other centers include: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center; Children’s Hospital of Orange County; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Duke Department of Pediatrics – Duke University School of Medicine; Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital; Phoenix Children’s Hospital; and Sanford Health.
The Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children’s provides diagnosis, treatment and follow-up for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer and blood disorders. The division is the largest, most comprehensive pediatric cancer and blood disease center in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia and has been a member of the Children’s Oncology Group, a multi-institutional pediatric cancer research organization sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, since 1961.
For more information on Dr. McAllister-Lucas, visit www.chp.edu.