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Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers hosted first-of-its-kind pediatric bone marrow failure symposium to unite national experts, collaborate on research

HOUSTON, Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers hosted a first-of-its-kind symposium focusing on pediatric bone marrow failure, bringing together more than 20 experts from around the nation to collaborate, discuss their research interests and develop research goals. Led by Dr. Alison Bertuch, pediatric hematologist at Texas Children's Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, the symposium was made possible via funding provided by Lisa Groten, as well as support for trainees from the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation. Learn more about Texas Children's hematology service.

During the one-and-a-half day symposium, researchers gave presentations about inherited bone marrow failure disorders such as Diamond Blackfan anemia, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, Fanconi anemia, and dyskeratosis congenita, as well as acquired bone marrow failure, most often referred to as acquired aplastic anemia.

"Never before has there been a symposium for pediatric bone marrow failure that unites top experts in the field to present their research, discuss challenging cases and collaborate on research initiatives," said Bertuch. "Our goal is to bring together leaders in this field so that more advances can be made in research, treatment and care for patients battling these blood disorders."

Among the attendees were hematologists and researchers from Boston Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Children's Medical Center of New York, The Hospital for Sick Children, Hasbro Children's Hospital, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital,  UT Southwestern Children's Medical Center at Dallas, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, Seattle Children's Hospital, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, Ann & Robert Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Doernbecher Children's Hospital and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.

Bone marrow failure can be inherited or acquired and is associated with a significant amount of morbidity and mortality. The condition affects children from all races, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Children with bone marrow failure do not produce an adequate amount of blood cells and are at high risk for developing hemorrhage and infections which can be life-threatening. They require frequent blood transfusions, which can cause problems over time due to iron build up. Currently, the only treatments for children affected by the various forms of bone marrow failure are blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants and immunosuppressive therapy.

About Texas Children's Hospital
Texas Children's Hospital, a not-for-profit organization, is committed to creating a community of healthy children through excellence in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation, Texas Children's has recognized Centers of Excellence in multiple pediatric subspecialties including the Cancer and Heart Centers, and operates the largest primary pediatric care network in the country. Texas Children's has completed a $1.5 billion expansion, which includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; and Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston.  For more information on Texas Children's, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news from Texas Children's by visiting the online newsroom and on Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.

Contact:
Texas Children's Hospital
Veronika Javor Romeis
832-824-2157

SOURCE Texas Children's Hospital

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