Department of Clinical Research (DCR)

Pediatric Surgery

Our research activities focus on studies of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and pediatric solid tumors.

  • NEC remains one of the most common and most severe surgical emergencies in neonates. Available therapy for the prevention or treatment of NEC is limited and patients have a mortality rate of approximately 30%. Our group is performing retrospective studies related to clinical and laboratory parameters in a large cohort of infants. A Swiss national registry for this disease is under construction.
  • Photosensitization is a clinically established method for fluorescence visualization and laser treatment (photodynamic therapy) in several adulthood tumors, but very little is known about tumors of early childhood. In this project, we are interested to study the accumulation of Photofrin, Photosan and 5-amino-levulinic acid in Wilms’ Tumor (WT) and Neuroblastoma (NB).
  • Study of signaling pathways in response to cytokines in pediatric solid tumors. Frequently the activity of certain STAT family members is associated with human malignancies, inflammatory responses and acute rejection reactions. We will study to role of cytokines and growth factors on activation of intracellular signaling pathways in in vitro model for WT and NB.
  • Characterization of microparticles (MPs) isolated from WT and NB cells. Growing evidence suggests that MPs present in peripheral blood and body fluids contribute to the development and progression of cancer, and are of pathophysiological relevance for autoimmune, inflammatory, infectious, hematological and other diseases. MPs have large diagnostic potential as biomarkers. Our goal is to isolate and to characterize MPs from WT and NB cells in response to various stimuli.

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