Columbia is the Region’s Only Center to Offer Early-Phase Trials for Children with Cancer

March 8, 2019

Columbia’s Pediatric Cancer Foundation Developmental Therapeutics Program (PCFDTP) is one of only 21 institutions in North America – and the only institution in the tri-state region – that offers early drug development trials to children with incurable cancer. The PCFDTP is a premier destination for patients and their families in New York, Northern New Jersey, and Connecticut who wish access to early phase clinical trials. Columbia is a founding member of the elite National Cancer Institute (NCI)–sponsored Children’s Oncology Group Phase I Consortium, now known as the Pediatric Early Phase Clinical Trials Network (PEP-CTN). 

Through the PCFDTP Columbia researchers are developing and testing novel treatment strategies for children with incurable cancer. This program allows us to advance new treatments through basic science research to define novel therapeutic targets, translational research to adapt observations from the laboratory to patients, and clinical trials participation to bring cutting edge therapies directly to patients. The PCFDTP also serves as an incubator for precision cancer medicine to provide individually tailored therapies based on a patient’s molecular and genetic characteristics.

The PCFDTP provides clinical oversight of a large portfolio of early drug development trials sponsored by PEP-CTN and Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia/Lymphoma (TACL) consortia, as well as investigator-initiated and pharmaceutical industry sponsored studies. The PCFDTP also serves as the local home for our Precision in Pediatric Sequencing (PIPseq) Program, which uses next-generation sequencing technologies to perform CLIA-compliant and New York State approved whole exome sequencing of patient-matched tumor-normal samples and RNA sequencing of tumor to identify molecular drivers of each patient’s cancer to make personalized, genetically informed treatment recommendations including selection and recruitment to early phase clinical trials. Furthermore, the PIPseq program is a platform for laboratory investigations to elucidate the various aberrant molecular pathways underlying tumorigeneses, and to identify tumor checkpoints and other pathophysiologic alternations that may represent novel therapeutic targets for pediatric drug development.

To learn more about participating in clinical studies through the PCFDTP contact Rebecca Zylber, CPNP, at 212-305-7212 or