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Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital: New Advancements in Pediatric Oncology Therapy

St. Louis Children's Hospital
 (SLCH) and Siteman Cancer
 Center have joined forces 
against pediatric cancer by 
establishing "Siteman Kids at
 St. Louis Children's Hospital. 


The partnership is focused
 on caring for children and
 adolescents with cancer, using the latest, most effective treatments, in a setting that's specifically geared to younger patients and their families.

In this segment, Dr. Bob Hayashi discusses Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children's Hospital and the exciting new advancements in pediatric oncology available at SLCH.
Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital: New Advancements in Pediatric Oncology Therapy
Featured Speaker:
Bob Hayashi, MD
Dr. Hayashi is Director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and an attending physician in Hematology/Oncology and General Pediatrics at St. Louis Children's Hospital. His research interest focuses on issues related to long term effects of cancer therapy. His efforts examine the nature and spectrum of clinical conditions affecting childhood cancer survivors with the goal of developing interventions to improve the outlook of this patient population. He directs The Late Effects Clinic at St. Louis Children's Hospital providing comprehensive care for patients afflicted with a broad scope of conditions.

Learn more about Bob Hayashi, MD
Transcription:

Melanie Cole (Host): St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Siteman Cancer Center has joined forces against pediatric cancer by establishing Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The partnership is focused on caring for children and adolescents with cancer using the latest and most effective treatments in a setting that’s specifically geared to younger patients and their families. My guest today is Dr. Robert Hayashi. He’s a professor of pediatrics and a Washington University pediatric hematologist and oncologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Welcome to the show. Tell us about the evolution of Siteman Kids. Explain a little bit how the center came about.

Dr. Robert Hayashi (Guest): Siteman Cancer Center, as you know, is an internationally renowned cancer center that has some of the leading scientific minds and are advancing some of the latest breaking therapies in cancer. St. Louis Children’s Hospital has an outstanding group of physicians who are leaders in the realm of pediatric oncology and are also doing research in the area of pediatric cancer. This unification sort of speak is a way to bring the resources of the Siteman Cancer Center with its scientific expertise and its technological advances and bring those advances to St. Louis Children’s Hospital so that we can not only provide the latest and greatest care for children cancer, but also bring it in the context of care that is sensitive to the needs of not just the child, but also adolescents and young adults.

Melanie: Speak about the cancer program as a whole. What's involved? Tell us a little bit about your team and the multidisciplinary approach and how everybody’s working together, how this benefits patients and their parents, which are an important part of this whole picture.

Dr. Hayashi: As with other programs at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, we provide care to the entire family so we have some of the leading experts in the field of oncology and families can expect just the most outstanding care that’s available in this part of the country. We also provide comprehensive care to deal with all aspects and needs for the families. We have a team that includes a social worker, psychologist, neuropsychologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist and all the other therapy services so that every aspect of a child’s need is provided in a way that’s age appropriate. Most importantly, we can also provide comprehensive care to adolescents and young adults, those patients which may be going into their late teens or early adulthood, and provide age appropriate care for those patients. Not only that, but also provide services that are on the forefront of the concerns of the family, ensuring that they maintain their school performance, ensuring that they make the appropriate transition to college and also provide support so that they can transition themselves into adult life. We want to be able to obviously beat the battle of cancer, but we also want the preserve their dreams for the future so that they can live highly successful lives.

Melanie: What are some of the technical advancements and the exciting things that you're doing and using at Siteman Kids?

Dr. Hayashi: We have the resources of the entire Siteman Cancer Center, which is the importance of this partnership, so we have a Proton Beam facility that provides very specified radiation therapy – that’s the only facility available in this part of the region. We have very specialized resources in the operating room. We have intraoperative MRI, which allows us to provide very specific surgical resections particularly in the brain in partnership with an MRI that’s in the operating room so that the surgeons can make as precisely excisions as possible. We have new developing technologies like laser ablation surgery in which the surgeons can use specialized lasers to resect tumors that would not otherwise be accessible. We’re also a nationally recognized clinical trials unit and we are one of only 20 centers in the country that provide the newest therapies for children with cancers that fail conventional therapy. The people in this region can be assured that they're getting not only the best care, but also the latest discoveries that are coming into the clinical arena, and we have the skilled expertise that deliver therapies that are relatively new for children and are actually in the early stages of development.

Melanie: Speaking of those developments, give us a little blueprint for future research. Let the listeners know a little bit of some of the really exciting things that you think are coming up.

Dr. Hayashi: Our program is advancing cancer therapy in all fronts. We’re continuing to make new discoveries and new innovations in terms of our surgical specialties. We’re continuing to bring the newest drugs into the pediatric clinical arena, we’re embracing immune based therapies – most recently, a therapy called CAR T cells that was just approved by the FDA and we should be able to have that therapy available for children with resistant leukemias that would otherwise not have available treatment options. We are also using the power of the Siteman Cancer Center to bring genomic medicine to the community, analyzing the genes of the different tumors and identifying specific drugs that are targeted to those genes that are very unique to the individual patients. This issue of personalized medicine is really ongoing at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Siteman Cancer Center is it’s this merger of all of the resources and the scientific expertise of this medical center that creates a very unique opportunity for families.

Melanie: In summary, tell other pediatricians what you would like them to know about Siteman Kids and when to refer.

Dr. Hayashi: We are the premier cancer center in this part of the country and we provide a family specific care to the youngest of children all the way up to the college aged adolescent. Not only can they expect to receive the latest in technology and the latest in breakthroughs, but they will also receive a comprehensive multidisciplinary support for the families and the patients so that they can continue along their aspirations for their children for the future once they’ve beaten the battle with cancer.

Melanie: Thank you so much for being with us today. A physician can refer a patient by calling Children’s Direct Physician Access Line at 1-800-678-HELP. That’s 1-800-678-4357. You're listening to Radio Rounds with St. Louis Children’s Hospital. For more information on resources available at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, you can go to stlouischildrens.org. That’s stlouischildrens.org. This is Melanie Cole. Thanks so much for listening.