Today, Columbus Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center have signed a collaborative agreement to broaden the study of childhood cancer and accelerate the transfer of key research findings to the clinical setting.
The unique relationship between the three institutions will stimulate novel research and help develop collaborations in pediatric cancer-related studies that will also have applications to adults, according to Dr. Michael Caligiuri, who will serve as director of the effort along with co-directors from Cincinnati Children’s and Columbus Children’s. This new collaborative Pediatric Oncology Program is being established as part of the National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center at OSU, one of only two in the state.
“Patients will be the most important beneficiaries of this agreement, which will utilize the combined expertise and resources of three well-known and respected institutions,” said Caligiuri, who also is director of Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We are coming together as separate institutions and challenging ourselves to fully leverage the translational research strengths of each program.”
According to Dr. John Barnard, president of the Columbus Children’s Research Institute, this relationship supports the most important aspect of cancer research, which is collaboration. “With this agreement we can be even more nimble about working together to extend scientific knowledge and educational programs relating to cancer. What we share is a common vision for world-class programs in cancer research and education. While we remain separate institutions serving unique patient populations, this agreement supports collaboration in many ways.”
Specific objectives of the relationship include the unprecedented development of a joint strategic plan for cancer research and education. A focus will be to more fully utilize the resources that each organization has to contribute to take advantage of a large pool of talented researchers in the region. In addition, the three organizations will cooperate to attract the best and brightest cancer investigators to the state of Ohio.
“We already have the benefit of many national cancer research leaders among our three programs, but now we will seek recruits who will not only benefit our individual institutions but also elevate cancer research in the entire region,” says Dr. David A. Williams, director of experimental hematology at Cincinnati Children’s. “This will enhance the research we do, the education we can give to the next generation of physician scientists and, most importantly, ensure the latest discoveries are available for all our patients.”
Linda Weiss, chief of the Cancer Centers Branch at the National Cancer Institute, says the partnership combines the unique and complementary strengths of three well-known and powerful cancer research institutions in Ohio to address pediatric cancer.
“The foresight and commitment of these institutions in bringing this complex collaborative agreement to fruition is to be commended,” said Weiss. It should prove exciting and rewarding for all involved, and ultimately benefit children and families in central and southern Ohio and in the nation as a whole. We have been and will continue to be supportive of this collaboration and wish it every success.”
Jim Feuer, Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center, (513) 636-4656
Pam Barber, Columbus Children’s Hospital, (614) 722-4595
David Crawford, OSU Medical Center, (614) 293-3737