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In the News


New Appointments and Awards - (The American Society of Hematology • December 2, 2014)

Jeffrey Lebensburger, DO, is one of six US clinical junior faculty recipients of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2015 Scholar Award. The awards, in the amount $150,000 for junior faculty over a two- to three-year period, support basic, translational, and clinical research that advances the hematology field. Read the full story.


Friedman committed to improving therapies for children with brain cancer - (UAB - The Reporter • July 21, 2014)

At the end of his first year of medical school, Gregory Friedman, M.D., decided to volunteer at a camp for children with cancer. He didn’t know that decision would help shape the focus of his research and career.

“The children’s energy and enthusiasm despite the adversity of their illnesses inspired me to become a pediatric oncologist,” said Dr. Friedman, who cares for pediatric cancer patients at The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders. The center, a partnership between UAB, Children’s of Alabama and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, is home to the state’s only pediatric programs in pediatric neuro-oncology and developmental cancer therapeutics.
Read the full story.


Angela ShawDaisy Award Winner

Congratulations to Angela Shaw, RN, 8 QB, for receiving the DAISY Award for November 2013. Shaw was nominated by the Hayes family for taking great care of their son. Highlights from the nomination are: "She has such concern for him. He has been very sick and can be mad about what is happening to him and she encourages and loves him. He knows she does mean what she is saying to him and wants the best for him. Angela has made a significant difference in our lives. She has such a caring attitude in every situation we have had to face."


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 17, 2013)—Pediatric cancer experts at The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's of Alabama have reported findings from a study that represent a major advance in efforts to improve quality of chemotherapy practices for children with cancer.

The study, which was authored by Raymond G. Watts, M.D., and Kerry Parsons, Pharm.D., and recently pre-published online in the journal Pediatric Blood and Cancer, followed a four-year quality improvement project. Previously published studies from other cancer treatment facilities have documented chemotherapy medication error rates ranging from 4 to 18 percent, with 85 percent of those errors reaching patients.

Watts and Parsons found that the use of a series of standardized chemotherapy prescribing, dispensing and administration processes with multi-provider cross checks at each point resulted in a chemotherapy error rate of 0.18 percent. Importantly, 92 percent of the errors were intercepted before reaching the patient. No error caused patient harm.

"By working shoulder-to-shoulder with our physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and pharmacists, we were able to accomplish the lowest chemotherapy error rate yet reported," said Watts, lead author of the study and director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology. "Our job is not yet done, and our efforts continue. Our goal remains zero errors. We published our results, successes and techniques with the hope that other cancer treatment centers will follow our lead and see similar success."

Children's of Alabama, the nation's third largest pediatric medical center, is home to The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders. Specialized pediatric services offer hope and healing for all forms of childhood cancer, leukemia, brain and spinal cord tumors, hemophilia and other bleeding disorders and sickle cell diseases. The program, which treats more than 90 percent of all Alabama children diagnosed with cancer or blood disorders, is a partnership between Children's of Alabama, the UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is ranked among the nation's Top 50 pediatric cancer programs by US News & World Report.

Watts and Parsons found that the use of a series of standardized chemotherapy prescribing, dispensing and administration processes with multi-provider cross checks at each point resulted in a chemotherapy error rate of 0.18 percent. Importantly, 92 percent of the errors were intercepted before reaching the patient. No error caused patient harm.

"By working shoulder-to-shoulder with our physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and pharmacists, we were able to accomplish the lowest chemotherapy error rate yet reported," said Watts, lead author of the study and director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology. "Our job is not yet done, and our efforts continue. Our goal remains zero errors. We published our results, successes and techniques with the hope that other cancer treatment centers will follow our lead and see similar success."

Children's of Alabama, the nation's third largest pediatric medical center, is home to The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders. Specialized pediatric services offer hope and healing for all forms of childhood cancer, leukemia, brain and spinal cord tumors, hemophilia and other bleeding disorders and sickle cell diseases. The program, which treats more than 90 percent of all Alabama children diagnosed with cancer or blood disorders, is a partnership between Children's of Alabama, the UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is ranked among the nation's Top 50 pediatric cancer programs by US News & World Report.

The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is among the 41 cancer centers in the nation to meet the stringent criteria for the National Cancer Institute's comprehensive designation. The center is a leader in groundbreaking research and patient care, and in reducing cancer disparities.


Cramer awarded Hyundai Scholar Grant for pediatric cancer research

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders was recently awarded the Hyundai Scholar Grant in support of pediatric cancer research. The $75,000 grant was presented to Stuart Cramer, D.O. and will support his research on understanding the mechanisms of chemotherapy drug resistance in children with neuroblastoma. The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders was awarded one of 43 Hope On Wheels' 2012 Hyundai Scholar Grants, which are given to principal investigators to support their research toward finding a cure and improving the quality of life for children with cancer.

The official presentation of the Hyundai Scholar Grant to Dr. Cramer took place on Wednesday, June 26 at Children's of Alabama during a handprint ceremony. Pediatric cancer patients placed an array of colorful handprints on a new Hyundai Tucson to honor their struggle with the disease.

Dr. Cramer expressed his gratitude saying, "The Hyundai Hope on Wheels' Scholar Grant will allow me the opportunity to continue to investigate the role drug resistant transporters play in neuroblastoma disease progression. I appreciate their support and vision of improving survival of difficult to treat pediatric malignancies. With their support, young investigators will have the opportunity to find a cure."

The title of Dr. Cramer's research is, "Resistance to MLN8237 in Neuroblastoma Xenografts is a Direct Result of Multidrug Resistance Transporters." According to Dr. Cramer, neuroblastoma accounts for about 15% of cancer deaths in children and despite advancements and treatment the overall survival rate continues to be poor for patients with high risk diagnosis.

The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders is a partnership between Children's of Alabama and the UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. More than a dozen highly-specialized pediatric hematologists, oncologists and blood and marrow transplant physicians at Children's provide care to infants through young adults up to age 25. Our multidisciplinary team approach provides family-centered treatment and support through a variety of innovative services from the day of diagnosis through treatment, cure and long-term follow-up.




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