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Groundbreaking Research at Seattle Children’s Improving Bone Tumor and Sarcoma Treatment

Research into tumor paint, glue embolization treatments and other fields of oncology care has allowed practitioners in the Bone Tumor and Sarcoma Clinic to provide unparalleled cancer care to children in the Pacific Northwest.

The Bone Tumor and Sarcoma Clinic is one of the first of its kind in the U.S. in which orthopedic surgeons and oncologists work side by side in the same program. The clinic’s expertise includes two surgeons with fellowship training in both pediatric orthopedics and musculoskeletal surgical oncology and a third with training in both pediatric and adult musculoskeletal oncology. Their interdisciplinary backgrounds and emphasis on collaborative care has resulted in one of the largest, most comprehensive bone and soft tissue programs in the country.

An emphasis on communication

At weekly bone tumor conferences, oncology, orthopedic and radiology teams review and discuss individual patient cases. An additional weekly clinic that includes a broader group of providers offers another opportunity for clinicians to maximize each child’s progress.

“Sarcoma requires team-based care,” says Dr. Suzanne Yandow, chief of Pediatric Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Seattle Children’s and professor of orthopedic surgery at UW Medicine. “We have to have constant discussions about patients in group settings, and we have an entire team of oncologists, nurse practitioners with expertise in sarcoma care, social workers, and others who attend these weekly meetings.” Read full post »

Teduglutide and Transplants: Moving the Field of Pediatric Intestinal Rehabilitation Forward

The Intestinal Rehabilitation Program at Seattle Children’s, the only program of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, is dedicated to reducing transplantation rates through innovative research that improves intestinal failure management.

Seattle Children’s was one of the largest recruiters for the first 12-week trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of the investigational drug teduglutide for patients with long-term TPN dependence related to short bowel syndrome. Already approved for short bowel syndrome treatment in adults, teduglutide is designed to reduce the need for TPN.

“Teduglutide is the first drug to be introduced to the commercial market that has a sound theoretical basis, as well as supportive preclinical and adult clinical studies, to improve intestinal adaptation above and beyond what can be achieved with the best standard of care,” says Dr. Simon P. Horslen, director of the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program and medical director of Solid Organ Transplantation at Seattle Children’s, and professor of pediatrics with UW Medicine. “Anything that has the potential to wean a child from TPN or even reduce the amount of TPN they receive will improve quality of life.”

Results from the initial 12-week trial were promising. Among 42 children ages 1 to 17, the treatment was associated with overall reductions in TPN, in some cases as significant as 41%. Four children were weaned from TPN entirely during the study.

Horslen and his co-investigator, Dr. Danielle Wendel, gastroenterologist at Seattle Children’s and assistant professor at UW Medicine, are awaiting results from a recently completed 24-week study.

“Teduglutide is a huge step forward in the management of intestinal failure,” Horslen says. Read full post »

Innovative Research Driving Change for Children With Hepatologic Challenges

At Seattle Children’s, the Pacific Northwest’s only dedicated pediatric hepatologists are actively engaged in research consortiums and working to improve treatments for pediatric liver diseases.

Two of these physicians, Dr. Evelyn K. Hsu, program director of the Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Fellowship at UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s, and Dr. Karen F. Murray have spearheaded a number of innovative studies that have improved children’s access to lifesaving transplants and medications. Read full post »