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Research Areas

Pediatric Cancer continues to be a leading cause of death in children, second only to car accidents as of 2021. The physician-scientists at the UH Rainbow Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Clinical Trials Unit have been at the forefront of pediatric cancer research for decades, playing an instrumental role in helping change the fates of children living with Cancer.

Immunotherapy/Cellular Therapy/Gene Therapy

Immunotherapy is the process of using the immune system to prevent and treat disease. There are multiple types of immunotherapies but cell-based immunotherapies are showing the most promise for pediatric cancers and blood disorders. CAR T-cell therapy is one type of cell based therapy that uses the power of a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. The patient’s own cells are removed from the body and are ‘engineered’ to recognize and fight the specific type of cancer cells in the patient. University Hospitals has nation-leading cell manufacturing capabilities and is one of less than a dozen academic medical centers to manufacture CAR-T cells for human use on site.

University Hospitals is a national leader in cell manufacturing capabilities. One of less than a dozen academic medical centers to manufacture CAR-T cells for human use. 

The physician-scientists at the UH Rainbow Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinical Trials Unit are at the forefront of research efforts to find, test and develop immunotherapy agents, which have unlimited potential and could, quite possibly, become the anti-cancer treatment of the future.

Immunotherapy Research

Stem Cell Transplant Research

Viral T-Cells

CAR T-Cell Immunotherapy is a new, FDA-approved cancer treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. Physician-scientists at the UH Rainbow Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Clinical Trials Unit work with the Wesley Center for Immunotherapy to research and provide this leading-edge therapy for patients with certain types of cancer that have been unresponsive to other treatments.

CRISPR Editing for Sickle Cell Disease

The research team at UH Rainbow works with industry sponsors and experts to provide ground-breaking care for sickle cell patients. CRISPR technology is being used to modify patient cells, prior to infusing them back into the patient’s body. The modification of the patients own cells and infusion under the current research protocols has to potential to provide a one-time durable treatment option for patients who up until now were limited on treatment options. This technology is the first of its kind at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s.

Developmental Therapeutics

The UH Rainbow researchers in the Center for Developmental Therapeutics are actively conducting basic, translational, and clinical research; often developing their own research protocols in order to find potential lifesaving treatments. The Center focuses on identifying safer, more effective drugs for children, adolescents and young adults with relapsed and refractory cancers. Center leaders are providing access to critical Phase I and II clinical trial evaluations for patients who need it. In many cases, these clinical trials represent a patient’s best chance for a cure.

Osteosarcoma Research

Immune Modulating Therapy