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

More than 3,000 new cases of childhood brain tumors are diagnosed each year, mostly in infants and young children. Brain tumors are the second most common childhood malignancy and the most common solid tumor among children. Unlike many other cancers where the cure rates have improved significantly in recent years, most brain tumors still have an almost uniformly fatal outcome. Those who do survive the aggressive surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments often are left with severe handicaps, learning disabilities or hearing and vision losses.

The McDonnell Pediatric Cancer Center conducts both clinical and research programs designed to identify key genetic features and the biological nature of different tumor groups, which will lead to improved diagnostics and therapies. The goals include development of treatment strategies that will extend lives or cure children with brain tumors while minimizing the deleterious effects of cancer therapies optimizing the quality of life.