Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers hosted first-of-its-kind pediatric bone marrow failure symposium to unite national experts

HOUSTON - (Jan. 27, 2014) - Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers hosted a first-of-its-kind symposium focusing on pediatric bone marrow failure, bringing together more than 20 experts from around the nation to collaborate, discuss their research interests and develop research goals. Led by Dr. Alison Bertuch, pediatric hematologist at Texas Children's Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, the symposium was made possible via funding provided by Lisa Groten, as well as support for trainees from the Aplastic Anemia MDS International Foundation. Learn more about Texas Children's hematology service.

During the one-and-a-half day symposium, researchers gave presentations about inherited bone marrow failure disorders such as Diamond Blackfan anemia, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, Fanconi anemia, and dyskeratosis congenita, as well as acquired bone marrow failure, most often referred to as acquired aplastic anemia.

"Never before has there been a symposium for pediatric bone marrow failure that unites top experts in the field to present their research, discuss challenging cases and collaborate on research initiatives," said Bertuch. "Our goal is to bring together leaders in this field so that more advances can be made in research, treatment and care for patients battling these blood disorders."

Among the attendees were hematologists and researchers from Boston Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Children's Medical Center of New York, The Hospital for Sick Children, Hasbro Children's Hospital, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, UT Southwestern Children's Medical Center at Dallas, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, Seattle Children's Hospital, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, Ann Robert Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Doernbecher Children's Hospital and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.

Bone marrow failure can be inherited or acquired and is associated with a significant amount of morbidity and mortality. The condition affects children from all races, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Children with bone marrow failure do not produce an adequate amount of blood cells and are at high risk for developing hemorrhage and infections which can be life-threatening. They require frequent blood transfusions, which can cause problems over time due to iron build up. Currently, the only treatments for children affected by the various forms of bone marrow failure are blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants and immunosuppressive therapy.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.