Founded in 1996, the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Center is creating new knowledge to save the lives of children with cancer.
Our more than 80 doctors and scientists at Penn State College of Medicine conduct the full spectrum of cancer research. This research begins with learning more about how cancer forms and what can be done to either destroy or reprogram cancer cells.
Having a better understanding of how cancer works will help us to develop new, more effective treatments, which we are able to then test by conducting Phase I, II, and III clinical trials.
The support of Four Diamonds has been critical to development of Penn State Health's nationally and internationally recognized research programs, which are leading the fight to find better treatments and cures for all childhood cancers.
An estimated 16,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year –that’s about 43 kids every day.
Childhood cancer survival rates have significantly improved to 80% over the past 40 years; however, 1 in 5 children will still die from their disease within 5 years of diagnosis.
Children tend to respond better to chemotherapy than adults. However, they are more likely to be negatively affected by radiation therapy. Both of these therapies, in addition to surgery for cancer treatment, are likely to lead to long term side effects in children.
Currently, there are more than 420,000 survivors of childhood cancer in the U.S., with that number expected to reach 500,000 by 2020.
Only 4% of National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding is solely dedicated to childhood cancer. The NIH is the country’s largest funder of medical research.
A key factor in our research is the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Center’s membership in four national and international research consortiums. Research consortiums allow research scientists and doctors from around the world to combine their efforts to understand the causes of cancer and find more effective treatments for the children we care for.
By sharing our knowledge and discoveries with our partner consortiums, the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Center not only improves treatment for cancer patients at Penn State Children’s Hospital, but also benefits children and their families nationally and globally.
a network of more than 200 leading institutions and 9,000 experts that provide state-of-the-art upfront therapies for many pediatric cancers.
a network of clinicians and scientists engaged in scientific and educational activities related to the use of hematopoietic stem cells in the treatment of diseases of children and adolescents.
a network of 9 leading academic medical centers, all working together to provide the collaborative and research strength needed to complete intensive Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of novel treatments for cancer that has returned or isn't responding well.
a network of more than 20 universities and children's hospitals that offer a variety of early phase clinical trials, including one clinical trial using a very novel, individualized approach of determining the treatment plan based upon the unqiue biological properties of the tumor.