Center for Childhood Cancer Research

Edward Anders Kolb, PhD

The overarching goal of Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research (NCCCR) is to achieve 100 percent cure rate of childhood cancers with minimal side effects. The work of NCCCR seeks to include scientists, physicians, patients, families and the community.
Under the direction of Ayyappan Rajasekaran, PhD, NCCCR is working to create a National Cancer Institute-designated center where basic research closely complements clinical research in childhood cancers and develops strategies to advance cancer awareness, diagnosis and treatment.
The Center’s research efforts are focused in three key areas:

  • Identifying cancer biomarkers to enable early cancer diagnosis and guide therapies targeted to specific cancer types, thereby minimizing treatment-related side effects
  • Developing nanotechnology-based drug delivery approaches to enable delivery of drugs directly to cancer cells, sparing normal cells and thus reducing side effects
  • Discovering novel targeted drugs by high-throughput screening and other methods to develop potent and selective therapies to combat childhood cancer.

Nemours Tissue Procurement Laboratory (NPTL) houses our Pediatric Tumor Bank—one of only a few pediatric tumor banks in the U.S.—and helps to facilitate our translational research by providing a direct link from our physicians to our researchers. This enhances our efforts to identify biomarkers for early disease diagnosis, predict disease progression and track treatment outcomes.
With the use of robotic equipment available in our High-Throughput Screening and Drug Discovery Laboratory, Nemours researchers are able to screen thousands of potential drugs in a short time. Currently, we are working to identify more effective treatments for childhood leukemia.
NCCCR also supports many Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and investigator-initiated clinical trials in collaboration with clinicians and hematology/oncology specialists throughout Nemours, mentors graduate students, and hosts symposia and other educational opportunities to help our research and clinical faculty become leading childhood cancer researchers.