The Pediatric Oncology Translational Research Laboratory (POTRL) at Penn State is truly unique with the work being done supporting active clinical trials, as well as looking at preclinical models that will eventually lead to future clinical trials and novel drug combinations. Research is often thought of as being decades away from the clinic, but here, the work is actively helping patients today.

The main areas of research within the Pediatric Oncology Translational Research Laboratory include personalized medicine through the Precision Medicine Program, neuroblastoma research, ewing sarcoma research, rhabdomyosarcoma research, and rare brain tumor research (including DIPG, ETMR, and ATRT).

We work with all Beat Childhood Cancer collaborators to support their own preclinical and laboratory work through sharing of samples, sharing of genomic sequencing data, and bioinformatic support when requested. We will only solve pediatric cancer if everyone is working on this together and we do not want resources to be the barrier!

Pediatric Oncology Translational Research Laboratory
Beat Childhood Cancer Research Consortium
Penn State University
Pediatrics C7846
500 University Drive
Hershey,  PA 17033

Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body. The POTRL Lab is currently focused on completing preclinical research of DFMO in combination with ALK inhibitors as well as the genomic analysis of the tumor microenvironment for identification of novel therapeutic targets. With the move of the research consortium to Penn State University, several agents have been identified to push into clinical trials next year.

Ewing Sarcoma

Ewing Sarcoma

Ewing Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in bones or soft tissue around the bones. The POTR Lab and BCC Collaborators are currently focused on completing preclinical work needed to begin our pilot study targeting HDAC in upfront and relapsed Ewing Sarcoma. We are continuing to expand our genomic analysis and precision medicine approach as it relates to preclinical work and targeted therapies in this program launched in the past few years.

CNS Tumors

CNS Tumors

The POTR Lab focuses on a number of rare and aggressive brain tumors including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT), and embryonal tumor with multilayer rosettes (ETMR). The lab is currently completing preclinical work for evaluating GSK3B inhibitors in ATRT and ETMR. In addition to this research, the BCC Consortium and collaborators are looking to move another promising combination therapy to a clinical trial for these patients by the end of 2023.

Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of sarcoma that occurs in soft tissues, connective tissues, or bones. The Beat Childhood Cancer Research Consortium launched the Rhabdomyosarcoma program this year, 2023 as a need was identified to give these patients better treatment options. BCC, POTR Lab, and preclinical collaborators are currently working on exploring and expanding genomic discovery and developing a precision medicine approach to this disease.

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Lab Tech

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Research Scientist- Faculty

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