During the last several decades, many drugs identified as beneficial in innovative therapy trials have been moved into front-line treatment for patients with various pediatric cancers.
For many young patients with cancer and blood disorders, innovative therapy represents hope.
What is Innovative Therapy?
Innovative therapy focuses on the development of new treatments for patients with cancer or blood disorders.
Most commonly, innovative therapy attempts to identify new drugs that can benefit patients with:
- Tumors that have failed to respond to standard treatment
- Tumors that have returned
Innovative therapy trials also attempt to identify drugs that are:
- Safer to administer
- Less toxic to patients and cause fewer short-term and long-term side effects
- Easier to give to patients (e.g., replacing an I.V. drug with the same drug that can be given by mouth)
- More effective when given in combination compared to when given as a single drug
We hope that the new combination or new ways of administering the medicine will lead to a better outcome in treating the disease.
Our goal at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is to provide every opportunity for a child to be cured of his disease.
By promoting and conducting translational research that spans from bench to bedside, we strive to improve and enhance the quality of life for children and young adults with cancer and blood disorders.
We aim to:
1) Provide an open trial for every patient so that they can be treated close to home, school, friends and family.
2) Make ideas in the lab available to patients at the bedside when those ideas are are suitable for clinical trials.
3) Become an easily accessible referral center for patients outside of Atlanta who might otherwise not have access to Phase I and Phase II trials.
Phase I trials represent the cutting edge of innovative cancer treatment. These trials provide additional treatment options for patients, who in the past, had no other options besides the standard protocol.
Our Innovative Therapy Program currently manages nearly 30 Phase I and Phase II clinical trials related to a number of different childhood cancers and blood disorders, including:
- Brain tumors
- Other solid tumors
- Sickle cell disease
National Research Collaborations
Meet the Team
Todd M. Cooper, D.O.
Director, Innovative Therapy/Phase I Program
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Research interests: Clinical trials within COG in myeloid leukemia and development of novel therapies for children with relapsed leukemia
Tobey J. MacDonald, M.D.
Director, Pediatric Neuro-oncology Program
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Research interests: Basic and translational research of childhood brain tumors with primary research focus on the role of platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) signaling in medulloblastoma
Who We Treat
The Aflac Cancer Center also treats adolescents and young adults (age 15 to 21), who can benefit from the pediatric protocols and access to clinical trials.
Due to their age, adolescents and young adults are often treated at adult hospitals where they don’t have access to pediatric clinical trials. But, many adolescents and young adults have better results when they are on pediatric clinical trials instead of adult clinical trials.
Physicians and researchers at the Aflac Cancer Center are faculty members at Emory University School of Medicine.
Some physicians and affiliated healthcare professionals who perform services at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta are independent providers and are not our employees.