Researchers Predict Next 7 Great Advances in Pediatric Healthcare

Achievements include more pediatric immunizations, cancer immunotherapy, genomic discoveries
Achievements include more pediatric immunizations, cancer immunotherapy, genomic discoveries

HealthDay News — The next 7 great achievements in pediatric research are presented in an article published online April 21 in Pediatrics.

Tina L. Cheng, MD, MPH, from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues discuss 7 promising areas of science on the verge of breakthroughs in pediatric research that are expected to improve child and adult health.

Drawing on and expanding from ideas from past achievements, the authors predicted the next 7 great achievements in pediatric research. These include more pediatric immunizations, which will prevent emerging and persistent diseases such as Zika and Ebola, and cancer immunotherapy, which is showing promise in childhood cancers (e.g, chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy for relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia). Genomic discoveries are expected to predict, prevent, and more effectively treat disease, while use of big life course data is expected to facilitate identification of fetal and childhood origins of adult health and disease, potentially resulting in early interventions. Other achievements include further understanding of the interaction of biology and the physical and social environments allowing prevention of disease; progress in quality improvement science allowing improvement in health and welfare of children; and implementation of research to reduce global poverty.

"Research in child health is a proven investment in adult health, with societal payoff," the authors write. "Continued progress requires heightened focus on pediatric research and investment in our future: children."

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