Sarcoma research at Texas Children’s spans from epidemiologic and basic science research investigating causes of tumor development and metastasis to translational research aimed at discovery of new therapies to inform future clinical trials, to development of institutional and multi-center clinical trials. Our research teams have expertise in translating our laboratory-based findings into new therapeutic approaches for treatment.
Investigators in our Epidemiology Center are focusing on the epidemiology of rhabdomyosarcoma – including identifying novel predisposition genes.
Although rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma diagnosed in children, there are few established risk factors for this often-fatal malignancy. Investigators in the Epidemiology Center at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, led by Dr. Phillip Lupo, focus on the epidemiology of rhabdomyosarcoma – including identifying novel predisposition genes. As part of this, Dr. Lupo is the principal investigator of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) supported Genetics of Embryonal and Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma Study (GEARS, AEPI15N1), where his team is actively enrolling children throughout North America diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma to better understand genetic susceptibility to this malignancy.
Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Cell and Gene Therapy have a robust infrastructure for investigation of novel immune therapy approaches to treat soft tissue sarcomas.
Dr. Robin Parihar's laboratory investigates the role of a specific type of immune cell called the natural killer (NK) cell. His research projects aim to enhance NK cell functions to target the tumor microenvironment, essentially getting rid of the accessory cells that help a tumor resist standard therapies. He is introducing the enhanced NK cells as therapy for children with advanced cancers, with a particular focus on soft tissue sarcoma. In addition, Dr. Parihar’s lab has established lab models to better understand how the tumor microenvironment suppresses the immune system, to develop new approaches to overcome this inhibition and improve immune-based therapies for pediatric cancers.
North American BCOR-mutated Sarcoma Registry
Texas Children’s Cancer Center is one of the world’s leading centers for the diagnosis and treatment of rare sarcomas, including BCOR-altered sarcomas. We have developed the North American BCOR-mutated Sarcoma Registry, funded by the Will Irwin Fund at the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, as part of a strategy to define the best treatment for this rare cancer. Providers from across the country are encouraged to enroll patients in this registry who are diagnosed with a rare pediatric sarcoma. Further information about the registry may be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 832-824-6835.