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Cutting Edge Treatment and Research for the Future

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center is a member of the Children's Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest, cooperative children’s cancer research entity. This means that doctors and staff at Children’s have complete access to the latest research and world-class treatments and are involved in the research that helps develop new treatment protocols. This means that families in Nebraska, Iowa and the region can stay close to home while still receiving the best care possible.

The COG brings together treatment centers, physicians, laboratory scientists, nurses, psychologists and others working to beat cancer in children, adolescents and young adults. Through collaborative research, the COG has improved rates for children’s cancer at a pace much faster than any one individual or single institution could accomplish alone. COG research has turned children’s cancer from a virtually incurable disease 40 years ago to one with an overall cure rate of 78 percent today. COG hospitals treat 90 percent of children in the United States with cancer, providing the unmatched combination of global expertise and local care.

“I think it brings solace to families as they are going through this terribly scary thing to know that the cancer treatment for their child is not going to be vastly different than how it’s done at another hospital because of the standard of care from the COG,” says Dr. Coulter. “But what is different is the way that we give that care and the team that’s giving it. Our entire clinic is invested in the family. Making sure that parents completely understand what’s happening to their child, and that when the kids come to clinic it is an enjoyable time — that’s what makes us different. Getting chemo is not fun but our kids love to come to clinic because they get to see the same people — the nurses, doctors, Child Life specialists, the social workers — all these people who they get to know become part of the family.”

Physicians at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center are integrally involved in research that contributes to treatment protocols set forth by the COG. Minnie Abromowitch, M.D., medical director of the Hematology/Oncology Program, has helped develop and administer protocols for the treatment of pediatric lymphoblastic lymphoma as part of the COG. Don Coulter, M.D., also is involved with clinical trials related to the treatment of solid tumors.

Thirty research protocols specific to pediatric cancer and blood disorders are currently active in the Children’s Hematology/Oncology Program. Of these, 29 are COG studies; one is a pharmaceutical-sponsored treatment study.

Additionally, an affiliation with the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, also located in Omaha, provides collaboration and access to the latest clinical cancer research and treatments such as bone marrow transplantation.

Together with the National Childhood Cancer Foundation, the Children's Oncology Group offers parents and families with educational and support resources through CureSearch.