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Pediatric Leukemia Expert Named CCCR Director

Published on December 23, 2014 in Cornerstone Blog · Last updated 11 months ago


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Stephen P. Hunger, MD, a nationally prominent specialist in children’s cancer, has been named the new director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research (CCCR) and chief of the Division of Oncology. Dr. Hunger, who started Nov. 1, joins a premier, comprehensive program, staffed by internationally recognized experts in pediatric cancer who rely on the most current advances in research and treatment. In U.S. News & World Report’s most recent rankings of pediatric care specialties, CHOP’s cancer care ranked second in the nation.

“We are delighted to welcome this internationally renowned pediatric oncologist to CHOP to lead our pediatric cancer program, advancing the treatment of children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer and overseeing pediatric oncology research,” said CHOP’s Physician-in Chief and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Joseph St. Geme, MD. “Dr. Hunger has an impressive background as a clinician, investigator, teacher, and leader in pediatric oncology and will undoubtedly have a major impact at CHOP.”

Dr. Hunger comes to CHOP from Children’s Hospital Colorado, where he was most recently director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and holder of the Ergen Family Chair in Pediatric Cancer. He also was a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the chief of the Section of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplantation.

He has a particular research interest in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer. Recent papers include a Journal of Clinical Oncology pharmacokinetic study in acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients, an Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences paper on the development of asparaginase as an ALL treatment, and a Frontiers in Oncology review of current concepts in Philadelphia chromosome-positive ALL.

A leading member of the Children's Oncology Group (COG), the national cooperative organization of pediatric cancer centers, Dr. Hunger has sat on numerous COG study committees, and has served as chair of the organization’s acute lymphoblastic leukemia Committee since 2008. He also has served on NIH study sections and committees of the National Cancer Institute, the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and numerous other foundations and groups.

Dr. Hunger has received research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the St. Baldrick's Foundation, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, among others. He has published scores of scientific articles, reviews and book chapters, and has made invited presentations throughout the world on pediatric oncology.

“I am tremendously excited by this opportunity to join one of the premier pediatric cancer programs in the world and to help CHOP develop more and better therapies toward our eventual goal of curing all pediatric cancers,” said Dr. Hunger.

To learn more about cancer care and research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, see the Center for Childhood Cancer Research site and the Cancer Center website.