McDonnell Pediatric Cancer Center

CenterPoints: Jeff Bednarski, MD, PhD talks about his research in leukemia within the McDonnell Pediatric Cancer Center.

Gaining an understanding of the genetics and biology of childhood cancers and developing more targeted and less toxic treatments have been the goals of McDonnell Pediatric Cancer Center since its inception in 2006. 

Many of our studies are focused on leukemia and cancers of the brain and nervous system. brain and nervous system. Together, these make up 56 percent of all childhood cancers.

Childhood leukemia cure rates have improved dramatically in recent years. CDI leukemia researchers have contributed to a number of breakthroughs, using sophisticated genome sequencing and mouse models to explain why children are vulnerable to certain types of leukemias at different ages. These discoveries will help develop targeted and more effective therapies. CDI investigators also continue to look for ways to combat deadly brain tumors while minimizing side effects that can cause severe handicaps, learning disabilities or hearing and vision loss. Their focus is on identifying key genetic features and the biological nature of different tumor groups, which will lead to improved diagnostics and therapies.

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