NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
March 18, 2008 • Volume 5 / Number 6 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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A series of paintings created by pediatric cancer patients who were treated at NIH
Milestones in Pediatric Oncology

1940s

  • Remission achieved in pediatric leukemia patients using an antifolate drug, aminopterin

1950s

  • 6-mercaptopurine treats pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
  • Combination chemotherapy introduced by NCI researchers
  • NCI begins funding pediatric cooperative clinical trials

1960s

  • Dactinomycin first used to treat Wilms tumor
  • National Wilms Tumor Study Group formed and multi-modal therapy (radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery) first used in pediatric patients
  • Prophylaxis of occult central nervous system leukemia markedly improves outcome for children with ALL
  • Laminar airflow technology creates "sterile rooms" for chemotherapy patients

1970s

  • Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group Committee pioneers repetitive-course, multi-agent chemotherapy for advanced rhabdomyosarcoma
  • First successful bone marrow transplant (BMT) for leukemia
  • Knudson describes the 2-hit hypothesis for retinoblastoma to describe genetics and heredity of cancer
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1980s

  • First tumor-suppressor gene, in retinoblastoma, is cloned
  • MYCN identified as a target of genomic amplification in neuroblastoma
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy improves relapse-free survival for pediatric osteosarcoma
  • Different treatment approaches for lymphoblastic lymphoma versus other lymphomas in children are realized
  • Platinum-based combination chemotherapy improves response rates in pediatric germ cell tumors
  • National Marrow Donor Program begins

1990s

  • Autologous BMT and 13-cis-retinoic acid improve event-free survival for high-risk neuroblastoma
  • Characteristic fusion genes identified for pediatric solid tumors
  • Combined ifosfamide and etoposide improve outcomes for non-metastatic Ewing sarcoma
  • Treatments achieve long-term survival rates of 80-90% for advanced Burkitt lymphoma
  • Risk-directed therapy becomes treatment paradigm for children with ALL
  • Genetic test for rare thyroid cancer enables prophylactic thyroidectomy before the age of 2
  • NCI-funded Childhood Cancer Survivors Study begins

2000s

  • Four legacy research groups merge as the Children's Oncology Group (COG)
  • COG publishes long-term follow-up guidelines for pediatric cancer survivors
  • Imatinib added to intensive chemotherapy improves early outcomes for Ph+ ALL
  • 5-year survival rates for children with cancer (age 0-14 years) approach 80%