The Macy Easom Cancer Research Foundation has awarded Sanjeev Vasudevan, M.D., a pediatric surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital, a $75,000 grant for research into a form of pediatric liver cancer called hepatoblastoma. It is a disease that usually affects
children under the age of five.
Dr. Vasudevan’s research uses new imaging techniques to investigate intra-operative, real-time visualization of a tumor and blood vessels. These imaging techniques will allow surgeons to look at the actual structure of the liver during surgery without relying on previous scans that may not show the immediate condition of the liver. These methods allow surgeons to take as little of the non-cancerous area as possible by fully visualizing the tumor margin in relation to the blood vessels of the liver.
“With this research, we hope to be able to substantially redefine liver surgery to provide better outcomes for our patients,” said Dr. Vasudevan who is also an assistant professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and an attending pediatric surgeon with the Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
This research is a collaborative project with the Texas Children’s Departments of Radiology and Surgery. Dr. Ketankumar B. Ghaghada, assistant professor in The Singleton Department of Pediatric Radiology, is co-principal investigator on this research study. The project team is made up of multi-disciplinary specialists from Surgery and Radiology, Dr. Vasudevan is driven to discover more effective treatments for pediatric liver cancer. The high rates of relapse, the metastatic nature of the disease and the considerable issues related to chemotherapy treatment in children are of great concern to him.
“I am honored to have our research proposal recognized by The Macy Easom Cancer Research Foundation,” Dr. Vasudevan said.” I hope to further our mutual goals of finding a cure and improving treatments for pediatric liver cancer.”
The Macy Easom Cancer Research Foundation was established in memory of Macy Easom, a four-year-old girl who was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma and died of the disease at the age of five. The foundation's mission is to provide funding to enable research devoted to finding a cure and treatment for hepatoblastoma and other pediatric cancers while promoting public awareness. For every dollar given to the foundation, 98 percent goes directly into research.