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Seattle Children’s Welcomes Dr. Mignon Loh to Lead Cancer and Blood Disorders Care and Research

Last year, if you had told Dr. Mignon Loh that she would soon become the leader of cancer care and research at Seattle Children’s, no one would have been more surprised than her. As chief of pediatric oncology at the University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospitals, she was caring for children with cancer and leading breakthrough research at one of the world’s most renowned medical institutions. Then Seattle Children’s contacted her and outlined our vision – and we were thrilled that it immediately caught her attention.

“I wasn’t looking to leave UCSF, but I was intrigued because Seattle Children’s was thinking big,” Loh said. “They were committed to building innovative facilities to augment their research footprint, they wanted to reimagine wet and dry bench research as part of their alliance with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington, and they were clearly on a mission to improve cancer and blood diseases care for children worldwide. The opportunity was too good to pass up.”

We’re ecstatic that Loh joined Seattle Children’s in December, and is leading the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and directing the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. She is also division chief of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy at the University of Washington School of Medicine and heads the Section of Pediatric Oncology at Fred Hutch.

“Seattle Children’s has an amazing history, and their immunotherapy work is groundbreaking,” Loh said. “I’m excited to build on that and make an even bigger difference for the kids who are afflicted with blood diseases and cancers who need better treatments and cures.” Read full post »

Minimally-Invasive Imaging and Laser Surgery Solve Elusive Epilepsy

Giorgia Graham, 11, is among the 20 to 30% of children with epilepsy whose seizures do not respond to medication. Surgery is an option if doctors can pinpoint the source of the seizures and remove the abnormal tissue without affecting the child’s ability to process information, see, speak or move.

When 11-year-old, Giorgia Graham, told her parents her cheek was going sporadically numb, they thought it was because she banged her face playing tag.

But when the numbness kept coming back, her parents realized it was something more serious. They discovered Giorgia was having seizures when she experienced a grand mal seizure sleeping one night with her mom while her dad was traveling out of the country. Though the seizures remained mostly isolated to Giorgia’s face, some, like this one, took over her entire body and caused her to lose consciousness. At worst, she was having more than 60 seizures a day.

“When medications didn’t stop the seizures, Giorgia’s mom, Christina, and I knew brain surgery was our only hope,” said Nick Graham, Giorgia’s dad. “That’s when we came to Seattle Children’s for a second opinion to see if surgery was possible.” Read full post »

Transforming Care for Children With High-Risk Leukemia

Dr. Todd Cooper leads Seattle Children’s High-Risk Leukemia Program.

Seattle Children’s is getting set to launch a program that will redefine how we care for children with “high-risk” leukemia – or leukemia that doesn’t respond well to standard treatments and/or has relapsed after therapy.

Unfortunately, less than 40% of children with high-risk leukemia will live for more than four years after they’re diagnosed. Our new High-Risk Leukemia Program aims to cure more of these children by uniting their doctors onto one team, and by using state-of-the-art diagnostic tests to match kids with the latest treatments and clinical trials. The program will also partner with researchers to pursue new treatments and cures.

The first-of-its-kind program is expected to attract patients and families from across the country, and it’s being led by Dr. Todd Cooper as part of his lifelong mission to improve care for children with high-risk leukemia. On the Pulse sat down with Cooper to learn about how the new program will transform care and bring new hope to children and families. Read full post »