Texas Children's Cancer Center

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Coordinates: 29°42′28″N 95°24′06″W / 29.7077°N 95.4016°W / 29.7077; -95.4016

Texas Children's Cancer Center
Texas Children's Cancer Center
Texas Children's Hospital Logo.png
Location Texas Medical Center, Houston, Texas, United States
Care system Non-profit
Hospital type Children's Hospital[disambiguation needed]
Affiliated university Texas Children's Hospital Baylor College of Medicine
Beds 36
Founded 1958
Website http://txch.org
Other links Texas Children's HospitalTexas Medical Center

Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers is the largest pediatric oncology and blood disease center in the United States.[1] The 2016-2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked Texas Children's Hospital among the top 5 best children's hospitals in the United States and #2 in the subspecialty of pediatric cancer.[2] It is located in Houston, Texas.

The facilities of the multidisciplinary center, located at Texas Children's Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, includes a 36-bed inpatient unit, a 22,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) outpatient clinic and a 15-bed bone marrow transplant unit, as well as 42 research laboratories.[3] Each year the center provides a specialized level of care to more than 1,500 children and adolescents newly diagnosed with cancer and blood diseases.

The center is staffed by nationally and internationally recognized experts who have made major clinical and research advances in the treatment of childhood malignancies.[citation needed] Residents completing core programs in pediatrics may enter accredited subspecialty training in the Baylor College of Medicine hematology/oncology fellowship program. The Center has three NIH-funded training grants.

Current research programs include molecular oncology,[4] tumor cell biology, developmental therapeutics,[5] cancer genetics and genomics,[6] cell and gene therapy,[7] transplantation biology,[8] tumor immunology and neuro-oncology.[9] A major focus of the center is to develop innovative therapies for those pediatric cancers and blood disorders that pose the greatest challenges for cure.


Originally called the Research Hematology-Oncology Service, Texas Children's Cancer Center was founded by Dr. Donald J. Fernbach in January 1958.[10] The National Cancer Institute provided the first grant that the center was funded on.[citation needed]

In 1959, the first bone marrow transplant from one identical twin to another was performed by Fernbach; this was one of the first procedures of its kind for aplastic anemia.[11]

The Hematology Center at Texas Children's Hospital has been treating children diagnosed with hematological disorders since 1958.[citation needed] A comprehensive program for screening newborns at the Harris County Hospital District facility was initiated in 1975.[citation needed] The center assisted in establishing a newborn screening program in the state of Texas that is administered by the Texas Department of State Health Services.[12] Referrals for patients diagnosed with sickle cell disease are received from the East Texas region and 20 counties surrounding the greater Houston area.[citation needed]

In 2001, a Sickle Cell Center at Texas Children's Hospital was formed to provide comprehensive care to the patients being followed by the service.[citation needed]

Affiliates and institutional collaborations[edit]

Educational institutions[edit]

Texas Children's Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. Senior Baylor College of Medicine faculty members oversee the Cancer Center’s efforts in basic and clinical research.[13]

Inter-institutional collaborations[edit]

In March 2009, The Retinoblastoma Center of Houston became the world's first retinoblastoma center made up of more than two centers.[14] The multi-institutional collaboration involved scientists from Texas Children's Cancer Center, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's Children's Cancer Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, and Houston Methodist Hospital.[14]

Outreach clinic[edit]

The Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic is an outreach clinic of the Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers. It is located in McAllen, Texas along the Texas-Mexico Border. In the last ten years, the clinic has treated more than 5,000 children with cancer or hematologic disorders.[15]

The clinic is led by medical director Dr. Juan Carlos Bernini and by Dr. Rodrigo Erana, both assistant professors of pediatrics – hematology/oncology at Baylor College of Medicine, along with a pediatric nurse practitioner, a staff of registered nurses, social workers, clinic technicians and administrative support.[15]

Patient programs[edit]

The Purple Songs Can Fly Project is associated with Texas Children's Cancer Center.[16]

Philanthropic gifts[edit]

As a part of Texas Children's Hospital, the center is designated a nonprofit medical corporation chartered as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under the IRS.

In 2011, Robert Duvall appeared at a record-breaking Houston charity event when he was interviewed by Bob Schieffer for 'An Evening with a Texas Legend'.[17] The event raised over $9 million.[17]

Notable physicians[edit]

  • Malcolm Brenner, MD, PhD — Director, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine[18]
  • Ralph Feigin, MD — Physician-in-Chief, 1977–2008, Texas Children's Hospital[19]
  • David Poplack, MD — Director, Texas Children's Cancer Center, Professor of Pediatrics.[20]


  1. ^ Baylor College of Medicine . Retrieved 2009-04-14
  2. ^ "U.S. News and World Report . Retrieved 05-18-2017
  3. ^ Texas Children's Cancer Center. Facilities at the Texas Children's Hospital Location .
  4. ^ Texas Children's Cancer Center . Molecular Oncology.
  5. ^ Texas Children's Cancer Center. Developmental Therapeutics Program.
  6. ^ Texas Children's Cancer Center. Cancer Genetics and Genomics Program.
  7. ^ Texas Children's Cancer Center. Center for Cell and Gene Therapy .
  8. ^ Texas Children's Cancer Center. Transplantation Biology.
  9. ^ Texas Children's Cancer Center. Brain Tumor Program.
  10. ^ "Donald Fernbach Obituary". Legacy.com. The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 18 May 2017. 
  11. ^ Reflections on Texas Children's Hospital Retrieved 2009-10-30
  12. ^ Texas Department of State Health Services, Newborn Screening Program Retrieved 2011-06-08
  13. ^ "About Texas Children's Hospital". Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  14. ^ a b The Houston Chronicle Medical Center attacks rare eye cancer . Retrieved 2009-03-27 Archived March 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ a b "A decade of life-saving treatment in South Texas". Cherokeean Herald. March 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  16. ^ Purple Songs Can Fly. Purple Songs Can Fly Website .
  17. ^ a b Shelby Hodge (24 February 2011). "Robert Duvall & Bob Schieffer take a backseat to the $9 million raised for Texas Children's". CultureMap News. 
  18. ^ "Dr. Malcolm Brenner Biography". Texas Children's Cancer Center. 
  19. ^ Texas Medical Center News Remembering Ralph Feigin Retrieved 11-05-2009
  20. ^ "Dr. David Poplack Biography". Texas Children's Cancer Center. 

External links[edit]