LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation reports that every day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer. Researchers at the Texas Tech University School of Medicine are working hard to bring down that statistic.
One of those pediatric cancer researchers is Dr. Min Kang, Pharm., who says there is a good and a bad side to the amazing treatments available today to fight childhood cancer. She explains, “The treatment success rate is a lot higher for pediatric cancer than adult cancer.
About 80% of pediatric cancer patients survive for 5 years at least after diagnosis when it a lot high than adult cancer patients. But the problem is a lot of the drugs we’re currently using are chemo drugs which target normal cells as well. So there are a lot of side effects and kids suffer from side effects for a lifetime.”
Dr. Kang adds that cancer researchers at Texas Tech are studying new drugs to fight pediatric cancer. But since there are not enough cancer patients in any one area to study the drugs, the National Cancer Institute has arranged for about 200 institutions across the country to share new treatments and provide a larger pool of pediatric cases. Hopefully, that will allow them all to find better treatments and safer outcomes for kids with cancer.
And lucky for all of us in West Texas, the Texas Tech School of Medicine is a part of that.