Why Choose the Very Rare Malignant Tumors Program

For many rare tumors in children, there are not standard, defined treatments. The Very Rare Malignant Tumors Program takes a highly individualized approach to each patient’s care. We utilize the latest developments in the genomics of rare tumors to help define treatment options in these cases, and have access to a range of clinical trials of novel therapies through our Developmental Therapeutics Program. Depending on the type of tumor, we partner with experts in other CHOP divisions or at institutions outside of CHOP, bringing together the right team to best assess and treat each child. In particular, many of these tumors are cancers that more commonly occur in adults. In these cases, we bring together the experts in treating adult patients at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania with our expertise treating children and adolescents to optimize the care of each patient.

World-leading expertise

CHOP's Very Rare Malignant Tumors Program is a part of the Cancer Center, which has been consistently ranked as one of the top pediatric oncology programs in the nation. The program’s team is made up of world-class experts who partner with clinicians from other CHOP divisions to provide unrivaled care.

Our program is led by pediatric hematologist-oncologist Theodore Laetsch, MD, who also leads CHOP’s Developmental Therapeutics Program. This dual role is key, since the focus of developmental therapeutics is on improving the efficacy and safety of cancer drug therapies.

Dr. Laetsch also holds national leadership roles in rare tumors and developmental therapeutics within the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the most experienced organization in the world in clinical development of new therapeutics for children and adolescents with cancer. Collaboration with national organization such as COG and other consortia throughout the world will help us create the best treatments for these patients.


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