Pediatric hematologist-oncologist Theodore Laetsch to launch Very Rare Malignant Tumors Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia that will seek to develop new treatments for children with rare and complex tumours

Theodore Laetsch Joins Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to Launch Very Rare Malignant Tumours Program

A national leader in pediatric oncology research and treatment, Dr Laetsch will also lead CHOP's Developmental Therapeutics Program
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 1, 2020 -- Pediatric hematologist-oncologist Theodore Laetsch has joined the Division of Oncology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where he will launch a cutting-edge Very Rare Malignant Tumors Program that will seek to develop new treatments for children with rare and complex tumours. In addition to leading this new program, he will also direct CHOP's Developmental Therapeutics Program and become the CHOP Primary Investigator of the National Cancer Institute Pediatric Early Phase Clinical Trials Network (PEP-CTN).

With this appointment, Dr Laetsch has come full circle to the site of his training. He completed his fellowship in pediatric haematology-oncology at CHOP in 2012 and served as an instructor from 2012 to 2013. He then spent seven years at University of Texas Southwestern and Children's Medical Center in Dallas, where he was promoted to an associate professor of pediatric haematology-oncology and directed the Experimental Therapeutics Program in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's Health.

As a national leader in pediatric cancer therapeutics, treatment and research, Dr Laetsch sits on multiple national committees related to these disciplines. In 2018, he played a key role in the development and FDA approval of larotrectinib, a revolutionary treatment for adults and children with solid tumours containing neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase (NTRK) gene fusions. In 2019, the Children's Oncology Group appointed Dr Laetsch as chair of the Rare Tumors Committee. He has also been involved in national trials of CAR T-cell therapy, including acting as an institutional principal investigator in the ELIANA trial. ELIANA was the first global and pivotal trial of CAR T, which was chaired by Stephan Grupp, MD from CHOP. Dr Laetsch has continued to be a leader in pediatric CAR T, and led the analysis of the effects of CAR T-cell therapy on the quality of life in children and young adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

"We are excited for Dr Laetsch's return to CHOP and take on these important and groundbreaking leadership roles," said Stephen P. Hunger, MD, Chief of the Division of Oncology and Director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research.  "Dr Laetsch is a rising star in pediatric oncology and is a key addition to our pediatric cancer program. With the launch of our Very Rare Malignant Tumors Program, Dr Laetsch will lead an innovative new program that will develop breakthrough treatments for our patients."

About Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centred care and public service programs have brought the 564-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents.

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Contact: Ashley Moore
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
(267) 426-6071

SOURCE Children's Hospital of Philadelphia