Why Choose the Advanced Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Therapeutics Clinic
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is the only pediatric hospital in the United States with an established, collaborative clinic staffed by nationally renowned experts in the management of refractory thyroid cancer in children and adolescents.
At other hospitals, treatment of pediatric thyroid cancer patients with a lack of response to standard therapies is handled on an individual basis rather than through a clinic with experience in the care of this unique patient population. Our team sees multiple patients each month with treatment-refractory and progressive pediatric thyroid cancer, including papillary thyroid cancer; follicular thyroid cancer, including hurthle cell carcinoma; medullary thyroid cancer; and poorly differentiated thyroid cancer. The collaborative partnership in the care of each patient, as well as the volume of patients we evaluate and treat, is critical to improving the understanding of if, when and how to use these cutting-age, targeted therapies.
We work closely with the Very Rare Malignant Tumor Program, the Endocrine Late Effects after Cancer Therapy (ELECT) Program and the Cancer Predisposition Program, as well as with team members in Radiology, Pathology, and Genomic Diagnostics.
The Advanced Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Therapeutics Clinic, in conjunction with the Developmental Therapeutics Program, maintains a robust portfolio of active clinical research trials. Our patients are offered participation in clinical trials based on their specific situations and individual needs.
Every thyroid cancer at CHOP undergoes comprehensive oncogene testing. This enables the thyroid team to refer back to the patient’s primary tumor at any point during the patient’s treatment and use the information to select the most effective systemic chemotherapy. This precision medicine is particularly important in treating patients with metastasis (spread of cancer) from the thyroid to the lungs and/or bones, as these patients have a higher risk of not achieving full remission of thyroid cancer and developing progressive disease despite standard therapies.
Translational Research Lab
Research in the Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Translational Research Lab, led by Aime Franco, PhD, is focused on determining the genetic and molecular features driving tumorigenesis in pediatric patients with the goal of improving diagnosis, predicting response to therapy and identifying therapeutic options to optimize outcome. The CHOP Thyroid Center translational science program is the largest lab in the world dedicated to the study of pediatric thyroid cancer.
Child and Adolescent Thyroid Consortium
The Pediatric Thyroid Center at CHOP has also spearheaded creation of the Child and Adolescent Thyroid Consortium (CATC), a collaborative effort between pediatric thyroid centers in North America and throughout the global pediatric thyroid community. The CATC is an international, multi-institutional cooperative effort between clinicians caring for pediatric patients with thyroid disease. The goal of the CATC is to improve our understanding of the outcomes of current care and to find opportunities to improve care for children and adolescents with thyroid disease, including thyroid hormone resistance syndromes, autoimmune thyroid disease, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer.