Hematology / Oncology / BMT

Every year, approximately 10,000 children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with cancer. In Southern Arizona, about 60 children are diagnosed with cancer every year.

Because of advances over the past few decades, more than 80% of children with cancer now survive 5 years or more. However, survival rates vary depending on the kind of cancer the child has and other variables. More info here on current survival rates.

Cancer remains the second leading cause of death in children (after accidents), so it is vital that more research is conducted in pediatric cancer so new and less toxic treatments can be developed.

The Steele Center pediatric cancer research team is focused on developing better therapies for children with cancer. 

Research Highlights

Emmanuel Katsanis, M.D.

Our laboratory has established various experimental haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantation (HHCT) models and is studying novel conditioning regimens and agents that can be applied following transplantation to limit graft versus host disease (GvHD) while permitting donor chimerism, immune reconstitution and graft versus tumor effects. The mechanisms of action of these regimens are been investigated in leukemia and solid tumor models. Our objective is the translation of innovative HHCT approaches into Phase I/II trials for pediatric and adult patients with advanced hematologic malignancies and refractory solid tumors.

Zeng Y, Stokes J, Hahn S, Hoffman E, Katsanis E.  Activated MHC-mismatched T helper-1 lymphocyte infusion enhances graft-versus-leukemia with limited graft-versus-host disease. Bone Marrow Transplant 2014 Aug;49(8):1076-83.  Epub 2014 Apr 28. PMID: 24777185

Yi Zeng, M.D., Ph.D.

Our laboratory is investigating the molecular mechanisms that regulate hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell function, in particular myeloid lineage differentiation and myeloid malignant transformation. Moreover, studies are ongoing to identify novel therapeutic targets for lymphoid malignancies with the goal of translating our findings into clinical trials.

Zeng Y, Katsanis E. The Complex Pathophysiology of Idiopathic Severe Aplastic Anemia.Submitted to Clinical & Experimental Immunology, 2014