The Cancer Centre for Children at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead cares for several hundred young cancer patients every year. Of these, more than half are enrolled in a clinical trial.

Clinical trials are often the only way that children in Australia can access drugs that have been shown to work. They also enable our researchers to test new, more effective ways of treating cancer. The research our doctors conduct continuously informs their care decisions for children with cancer, and our clinical trials ensure constant improvement in the outcomes of our patients.

Led by Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza, our research focuses on leukaemia, sarcoma, bone marrow transplantation and neuro-oncology. We work closely with the Children’s Cancer Research Unit, and also participate in large multi-site international trials and are actively involved in international childhood cancer networks, which are essential to achieve the data sets large enough to study rare childhood cancers.

We currently have 60 clinical trials running, looking at, for example, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, quality of life in cancer patients, brain cancer, cancer of the central nervous system, eye cancer, germ cell cancer, haematological cancer, leukaemia, recurrent relapsed low grade gliomas, sarcomas and Wilm’s tumour.

The research team

> Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza, Head of Department

Luciano is Department Head and a Senior Staff Specialist at The Children's Hospital at Westmead. His research focuses on the management of acute leukaemia in children and adolescents, and the development of clinical trials in paediatric oncology. He leads numerous paediatric clinical trials within the CHW Oncology Unit, and is pioneering e-medicine advances to assist with clinical trials conduct.

> Dr Peter Shaw, Head of BMT Services

Peter is a senior clinician who established and leads the Paediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Team at The Children’s Hospital, Westmead. The development of such a team has allowed resources to be directed towards many different aspects that can improve the outcome of paediatric BMT recipients. For more information on his research please visit Peter's University of Sydney profile page

> Dr Geoff McCowage, Cancer Gene Therapy Group Leader

Geoffrey is a Paediatric Oncologist and a lead investigator on the MGMT Cancer Gene Therapy Trial. More information on this trial can be found on the Cancer Gene Therapy page

> Other Research Team Members

  • Dr Mary Bergin, Paediatric Oncologist
  • Dr Michael Stevens, Paediatric Oncologist
  • Prof Stewart Kellie, Paediatric Oncologist
  • Dr Steven Keogh, Paediatric Oncologist
  • Dr Melissa Gabriel, Paediatric Oncologist
  • Dr Christa Nath, Pharmokineticist
  • Adrienne Williams, Clinical Research Associate
  • Jessa Zaguirre, Clinical Research Associate
  • Joanne Chuah, Clinical Research Associate
  • Anthea Ng, Clinical Research Manager
  • Jun Cai, Clinical Research Associate
  • Dr Gillian Huang, BMT Clinical Research Associate
  • Jessica Chand, Clinical Trials Assistant 

Key publications

Sutton R, Shaw PJ, et al. (2015) Outcomes in children with ALL with persistent MRD before and after allogeneic SCT. British Journal of Haematology 168(3), 395-404

Shaw PJ, Nath CE, Lazarus HM (2014) Not too little, not too much-just right! (Better ways to give high dose melphalan). Bone Marrow Transplant 49:1457-65

Marshall GM, Dalla-Pozza L, Sutton R, et al. (2013) High-risk childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia in first remission treated with novel intensive chemotherapy and allogeneic transplantation. Leukemia 27(7):1497-503

Karsa M, Dalla-Pozza L, et al. (2013) Improving the Identification of High Risk Precursor B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Patients with Earlier Quantification of Minimal Residual Disease PLoS One 8(10):e76455

Hong AM, Millington S, Ahern V, McCowage G, Boyle R, Tattersall M, Haydu L, Stalley PD. (2013)  Limb preservation surgery with extracorporeal irradiation in the management of malignant bone tumor: the oncological outcomes of 101 patients. Ann Oncol 24(10):2676-80

Yalon M, Rood B, MacDonald TJ, McCowage G, Kane R, Constantini S, Packer RJ (2013) A feasibility and efficacy study of rapamycin and erlotinib for recurrent pediatric low-grade glioma (LGG). Pediatr Blood Cancer 60(1):71-6

Blyth E, Clancy L, Simms R, Ma CK, Burgess J, Deo S, Byth K, Dubosq MC, Shaw PJ, Micklethwaite KP, Gottlieb DJ (2013) Donor-derived CMV-specific T cells reduce the requirement for CMV-directed pharmacotherapy after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Blood 121(18):3745-58

Gungor T, Teira P, Slatter M, Stussi G, Stepensky P, Moshous D, Vermont C, Ahmad I, Shaw PJet al. (2013) Reduced-intensity conditioning and HLA-matched haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation in patients with chronic granulomatous disease: a prospective multicentre study. Lancet, Epub 2013/10/29

Mateos MK, O'Brien TA, Oswald C, Gabriel M, Ziegler DS, Cohn RJ, Russell SJ, Barbaric B, Marshall GM, Trahair TN (2013) Transplant-related Mortality Following Allogeneic Hematopoeitic Stem Cell Transplantation for Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: 25-Year Retrospective Review, Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 60(9):1520-7

Teichmann D, Cummins M, Keogh SJ, Rogers T (2013) The complication of gastro-enteric fistulisation in neutropenic enterocolitis secondary to aplastic anaemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer 61(2):358-9