Drs. Keith August and Steven A. Soper Receive Grant
from the Midwest Cancer Alliance

Fighting Leukemia

Dr. Keith August from Children’s Mercy Hospital and Dr. Steven Soper, Director of CBM2, from the University of Kansas, Lawrence received grant funding from the Midwest Cancer Alliance to support a project focused on detecting disease recurrence in pediatric patients being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, ALL.

ALL is the most common malignant disease in childhood and accounts for approximately 30% of all cancer diagnosed before the age of 18 years. The cure rate for ALL in children has improved over the last 60 years, using a treatment strategy consisting of chemotherapy. A major reason for this remarkable improvement is the ability to identify patients early during treatment who have a high risk of relapse and implement changes in the treatment plan. Unfortunately, this requires a bone marrow biopsy, a painful procedure that necessitates sedation or anesthesia. Drs. August and Soper plan to use a new technology to allow for testing of pediatric ALL patients for relapse using a simple blood test that will allow for more frequent testing and alleviate the need for bone marrow biopsies. Also, the test will be able to detect disease relapse much earlier than current standard laboratory tests. This will allow for better clinical outcomes for pediatric patients experiencing relapse following chemotherapy.

Dr. Keith August: Dr. August is Director of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Program at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Dr. August received in MD from the University of Oklahoma Medical School in 2002 and a Masters of Science from Emory University in Atlanta, GA (2005). His specialties are in the area of clinical trials, experimental therapeutics and pediatric leukemia and lymphoma.
Children’s Mercy Hospital (CMH): CMH is located in Kansas City, MO and ranks 30th nationally in Pediatric Cancer. CMH integrates clinical care, research and medical education on its site and provides care for patients <21 years of age. The primary service area for CMH consists of 150 counties spread across Kansas and Missouri.   

Sept. 16, 2016