Jeffrey Dome, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and chief of the Division of Oncology (ranked number 6 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospitals annual rankings) at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., is an internationally recognized expert on pediatric solid tumors, with an emphasis on kidney tumors and sarcomas. He chaired the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Renal Tumor Committee, which oversees clinical research on kidney tumors at more than 200 children’s hospitals around the world for more than 10 years. Dr. Dome is currently the Continental President of North America for the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) and serves on several medical advisory boards for cancer centers and foundations.
“This is a remarkably exciting time to be in the field of pediatric oncology, with an explosion of knowledge on cancer biology and genetics and the availability of new treatment modalities including molecularly targeted therapy, immunotherapy and devices to improve drug delivery and local control,” says Dome. “I am proud of the multidisciplinary and cross-center collaborations at Children’s National to deliver the latest innovative therapies.”
The team at Children’s National is making strides across all programs to benefit patients with pediatric cancer. A few highlights include:
- The Brain Tumor lnstitute is one of the most active clinical and translational research programs in the country. Collaborating with other leading institutions, the Brain Tumor Institute is supported by a robust brain tumor bench research program with focused laboratories in medulloblastoma, high-grade glioma, midline diffuse glioma, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, low-grade glioma and immunotherapy. The Brain Tumor Institute is leading two national studies, both funded through the Moon Shot lnitiative. In addition, it works closely with the Virginia Tech brain tumor laboratories on the new Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus.
- Children’s National is the first children’s hospital in the United States with a Focused Ultrasound Program. This pediatric dedicated program includes high-intensity (HIFU) and low-intensity focused ultrasound (LIFU), offering minimally invasive surgical options for children with extra-cranial solid tumors, low-grade brain tumors and novel, potentially life-saving therapy with LIFU-mediated blood-brain barrier disruptions for diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas.
- Children’s National has developed multi-antigen specific T cells that have shown success in early phase clinical trials for leukemias, solid tumors and brain tumors. This promising area of research earned a major boost in the form of a $25 million dollar grant from Cancer Grand Challenges, founded in 2020 by Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. This award supported the foundation of NexTGen, a team of scientists and clinicians with expertise in immunology, proteomics, mathematics and more, across eight institutions in the U.S., U.K. and France. The Center for Cancer and Immunology Research at Children’s National is one of the leaders of this effort.
- The Blood and Marrow Transplantation team, one of the only dedicated pediatric bone marrow transplant programs in the greater Washington, D.C., region, is celebrating its 35th anniversary, with a history of clinical and research accomplishments for both malignant and non-malignant disorders. This program has seen tremendous success in their day 100 transplant-related mortality (TRM). Recently, for the first time, the day 100 TRM average was 0%, meaning that the program did not lose a patient due to transplant complications in the first 100 days – a remarkable achievement in the world of transplantation.
- The Cancer Genetics Program has grown tremendously in the past few years, reflecting recognition that approximately 10% of childhood cancers have an underlying cancer predisposition. Despite COVID-19, during the past fiscal year, there were 282 patient visits which is a 40% increase from the prior year. The team has developed a collaboration with researchers in the Rare Disease Institute and now can offer studies for patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, children with previously undiagnosed developmental delay and children with undiagnosed syndromes. Further, the team was awarded a grant from the Children’s Cancer Foundation to allow testing for those without insurance coverage.