Dr. Yael Mossé’s clinical and research specialty is neuroblastoma, a cancer that starts in the nerve tissues of infants and young children. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has developed the nation's foremost clinical and research team devoted to children with neuroblastoma, and offers the possibility of clinical trials that are not available elsewhere.
In Dr. Mossé’s lab, researchers have made great strides in the knowledge of the hereditary predisposition and progression of neuroblastoma. They discovered the gene mutations that are the primary cause of the inherited version of neuroblastoma and that also play a significant role in high-risk forms of the more common, non-inherited form of the disease. These findings are helping translate knowledge from the lab to new and — one day — curative ideas for patients. Along with the possibility of new therapeutics, physicians at CHOP can also offer noninvasive screening for patients with a history that suggests a genetic predisposition to developing neuroblastoma.
The neuroblastoma developmental therapeutics team involves oncologists, nurse practitioners, a clinical research assistant and a social worker, along with the child's primary oncologist. This team approach means CHOP’s experts all work together to help provide options for the families and patients. The team is always available to communicate with the family, an important consideration since many families come from outside our region. After the initial consult, Dr. Mossé always let families know they are free to continue to communicate with her and ask questions. She believes that tough decision-making is best done in partnership with the family, which requires a deep understanding of the child and his history, and a sincere evaluation of all options both at the time of initial consultation and down the road. Dr. Mossé’s goal is to help patients and families go home after a serious appraisal of all options and strong consideration of quality of life.
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