In order to expand its operational reach and magnify its philanthropic impact, Hope & Heroes recently launched the Hope & Heroes Research Initiative (HHRI). The HHRI is a collaboration of seven top-flight medical institutions in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut region. The group is comprised of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New York University Langone Health, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore – Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Smilow Cancer Hospital – Yale New Haven Health, and Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center – Northwell Health. Collectively, these medical institutions have a total of 600 health care providers treating 1,000 pediatric cancer patients annually and research teams capable of the most advanced medical science.
Co-chaired by Peter Cole, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and David M. Loeb, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Cellular Therapy at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, the HHRI’s mission is to advance research collaborations that broaden and deepen our knowledge of the etiology, treatment, and cure of child and adolescent cancer and serious blood diseases.
Efforts are underway to advance two congruent studies examining population-science and health disparities and genetic predispositions toward cancer. This will be done by establishing a clinical research database that includes coded demographic, clinical, genomic, and cancer-specific data of pediatric and adolescent oncology patients, with the addition of stored tissues to evaluate alterations associated with prognosis and treatment response. The diverse patient population seen by HHRI member institutions will provide valuable insights for these studies.