Areas of Research Participate in Histiocytosis Research

The histiocytosis research program is dedicated to studying histiocytic diseases in order to identify the causes and discover cures. If you or your child is undergoing procedures (e.g., surgical biopsy, blood draw, lumbar puncture) for clinical purposes, we invite you to participate in histiocytosis research. This research requires tissue samples from patients with histiocytic diseases, including:

  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis (sometimes called sosinophilic granuloma),
  • juvenile xanthogranuloma,
  • Rosai-Dorfman disease,
  • Erdheim-Chester disease,
  • hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, and
  • malignant histiocytosis.

These tissue samples provide vital information that assists our histiocytosis team in understanding the basic causes of histiocytosis, which hopefully will lead to more effective treatments.

What is needed for histiocytosis research?

Surgical biopsies
The current research is focusing on an effort to isolate pure populations of cells fresh or frozen biopsy specimens to discover which specific genes are causing Langerhans cell histiocytosis and related diseases.

Blood samples
White blood cells can be isolated and analyzed in order to determine which circulating cells and genes contribute to histiocytic diseases. The plasma fluid in blood can also be analyzed to determine which proteins are important in diagnosing and treating histiocytic diseases.

Cerebrospinal fluid
CSF is the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The histiocytosis team studying proteins that are involved in histiocytosis-related nerve problems.

Medical information
Medical details associated with the biology samples will help determine the clinical significance the genes, proteins and cells identified in the Histiocytosis research studies.

How can I participate in histiocytosis research?

If you are interested in participating in histiocytosis research, you are invited to contact the histiocytosis team. We will send you information and a consent form for this study that is approved by the Institutional Review Board for Baylor College of Medicine and our affiliated institutions. Dr. McClain or his staff will then discuss the consent with you over the phone.

If you are interested in participating, you can sign the consent and return it to Dr. McClain by FAX, mail, e-mail or FedEx. The histiocytosis team can provide you with a prepaid FedEx airbill for the consent. Once all your questions are answered and you have signed consent, the histiocytosis team can discuss specific instructions for collection and shipping of your samples with you and your doctors.

Please contact us if you are interested or if you and/or your physicians have other questions about histiocytosis research.

Contact Us

Histiocytosis Program

Texas Children's Hospital
1102 Bates Ave., Ste. 1570
Houston, TX 77030

Histiocytosis Research Laboratory

Carl E. Allen, MD, PhD / Kenneth McClain, MD, PhD
1102 Bates Ave., Ste. 750.06
Houston, TX 77030

Address to Send Samples

Carl E. Allen, MD, PhD
1102 Bates Ave., Ste. 750.06
Feigin Tower Receiving Dock
Houston, TX 77030

Physician Contacts

Kenneth McClain, MD, PhD
Director, Histiocytosis Program
Director, Pediatric Lymphoma-Histiocytosis Fellowship Program
Office Phone: 832-822-4208
Office FAX: 832-825-1503


Carl E. Allen, MD, PhD
Co-Director, Histiocytosis Program
Office Phone: 832-824-4312

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