Susan Blaney, M.D., deputy director of Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Hematology Service, participated today in the Childhood Cancer Panel Discussion held on behalf of the Congressional Pediatric Cancer Caucus. The discussion was held at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C. The event brought together the top minds in the field of pediatric oncology and was hosted by Congressman Joe Sestak and Congressman Michael McCaul.
The Texas Children’s Hospital is renowned worldwide for its expertise and breakthrough developments in clinical care and research and is ranked in the top ten best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. Texas Children’s also operates the nation’s largest primary pediatric care network, with more than 40 offices throughout the greater Houston community.
Timed to Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the caucus focused on the research, treatments, and impact of childhood cancer. Dr. Blaney and the other participants addressed current legislation such as bills HR2109 and S3697, which promote drug development and survivorship, as well as needed advancements in the field of childhood cancer to better treat and prevent this disease.
“The Childhood Cancer Panel Discussion is essential to helping the government and public understand the challenges that physicians and scientists face in developing effective, less toxic therapies for childhood cancer, as well as the challenges faced by survivors of childhood cancer,” said Dr. Blaney, also Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “Although approximately 80% of children diagnosed with cancer today can be cured, we are challenged to rapidly find effective therapies for those cancers that have continued to evade cure. It’s an honor to be involved in this important discussion.”
Dr. Blaney is the director of the Neuro-Oncology Program and the co-director of the Clinical Pharmacology Program at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. She performs pre-clinical and clinical studies of promising new anti-cancer drugs for pediatric cancer and serves as the Chair for the Developmental Therapeutics Committee for the Children’s Oncology Group. A primary focus of her research is the development of new drugs for the treatment of central nervous system tumors in children or for tumors that are refractory to therapy.
The mission of the bipartisan Pediatric Cancer Caucus, co-chaired by Representatives Sestak and McCaul, is to serve as a clearinghouse for information on pediatric cancer and a bipartisan forum to aid members of Congress in working together to address pediatric cancer. The Caucus will strive to raise awareness about pediatric cancer, advocate in support of measures to prevent the pain, suffering and long-term effects of childhood cancers, and work toward the goal of eliminating cancer as a threat to all children.
“This disease devastates children and families,” said Rep. McCaul. “Unfortunately the drugs, research, treatment and funding that exist pale in comparison to what’s available for adult forms of cancer. We have an obligation to increase the odds of survival and the quality of survival for our children, and to do that we have to make an investment.”