Oregon's Only Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program Recruits New Director, Expands Clinical Research
10/19/05 Portland, Ore.
Doernbecher Children's Hospital at Oregon Health & Science University has recruited one of the nation's leading experts in pediatric blood and bone marrow transplantation to direct the state's only Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program.
Eneida Nemecek, M.D., former Fred Hutchinson standout, joins an active team of researchers and clinicians who have made numerous major contributions to the field of pediatric stem cell transplantation, including significant breakthroughs in research and improved understanding of blood cancers such as leukemia, and other diseases of the blood and bone marrow.
"We are entering a very promising new era in pediatric stem cell transplantation. New applications in this treatment will soon help even more children. OHSU and Doernbecher are indeed fortunate to have Dr. Nemecek, who will provide leadership and clinical direction to this critical program. Our patients will greatly benefit from her expertise," said Stacy Nicholson, M.D., M.P.H., head of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, OHSU School of Medicine, Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
Some of the clinical trials for which Nemecek is principal investigator involve the use of new drugs that have the potential to deliver more specific therapy to sites of disease while sparing some of the toxicity to normal body organs. One of these drugs, called treosulfan, is being studied at just a handful of centers worldwide, and Nemecek holds the only FDA license to conduct this clinical trial in the United States. She also collaborates with other centers in selected studies, funded by the National Institutes of Health, testing new methods of marrow transplantation.
Building on the success of Doernbecher's nationally recognized team of experts, Nemecek, also an assistant professor of pediatrics (hematology/medical oncology) in the OHSU School of Medicine and member of the OHSU Cancer Institute, will expand the number of treatments, and the scope of new research and clinical programs available to children referred to Doernbecher for stem cell transplantation. Patients from Oregon and beyond will have greater access to highly specialized treatments, enhancing their chances of survival and cure.
"Providing direct access to the latest in pediatric stem cell and bone marrow transplantation treatment to Oregon's children in their own backyard will facilitate family-centered care. Our new programs will allow the most seriously ill children to be cared for closer to their local physician, family and friends, all of whom provide a vital support network," said Nemecek.
Nemecek comes to Doernbecher from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, where she served as associate in clinical research and instructor in pediatrics. She earned her medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan; completed her residency in pediatrics at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland; and completed her fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington. Subsequently, she earned a master's in science (epidemiology) from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, where she obtained extensive experience in the conduct and design of clinical research.
Doernbecher's Pediatric Stem Cell Program/Pediatric Oncology Program
Since its inception in 1994, the Pediatric Stem Cell Program at Doernbecher Children's Hospital has provided multidisciplinary stem cell transplant care for more than 130 patients from throughout Oregon and southwest Washington. On average, the multidisciplinary team performs 30 bone marrow or stem cell transplants per year.
Physicians and scientists at Doernbecher Children's Hospital care for more than 80 percent of the children who are battling cancer in Oregon. During the last four years, clinic visits rose from 2,500 annually to more than 10,000, the average daily census in the inpatient unit has increased from nine to 20, and this year 180 new children with cancer will be referred to Doernbecher.
Doernbecher currently is expanding its Kenneth W. Ford Northwest Children's Cancer Center to include 21 new inpatient beds and 12 outpatient infusion beds, an expansion of the eight-examination room outpatient clinic and a new schoolroom. The expansion is slated for completion in 2006.