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The mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. St. Jude is known worldwide for its expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cancers. The institution is dedicated to saving children's lives by finding the causes of catastrophic diseases, improving treatment and developing cures. St. Jude is internationally known for its treatment of all pediatric cancers, but is particularly esteemed for its treatment of brain tumors, leukemia, neuroblastoma and retinoblastoma. St. Jude oncologists are also experts in gene therapy and pediatric stem cell transplantation.
• Research efforts at St. Jude focus on understanding the molecular and genetic bases of catastrophic diseases in children, identifying cures for such diseases and promoting their prevention. St. Jude researchers actively participate in the Children's Oncology Group and serve as protocol coordinators and chairs for various discipline or disease committees. The current basic and clinical research at St. Jude includes work in gene therapy, chemotherapy, the molecular control of normal and cancerous cells, radiation treatment, blood diseases, resistance to therapy, viruses, hereditary diseases, influenza, pediatric AIDS and the psychological effects of catastrophic illnesses. St. Jude also conducts long-term biostatistical investigations on its patients and is the only pediatric research hospital supported by a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant. The hospital is also the only pediatric research hospital to be designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.
• In 2010, St. Jude partnered with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in launching an unprecedented effort to identify the genetic changes that give rise to some of the world's deadliest childhood cancers. The team joined forces to decode the genomes of more than 600 childhood cancer patients. The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital – Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project is the largest investment to date aimed at understanding the genetic origins of childhood cancers. Scientists involved in the project are sequencing the entire genomes of both normal and cancer cells from each patient, comparing differences in the DNA to identify genetic mistakes that lead to cancer.
• The St. Jude Hartwell Center for Bioinformatics and Biotechnology is one of the leading facilities of its kind in the world. The center features extensive capabilities in high-throughput DNA sequencing and genotyping, macromolecular synthesis, cDNA and Affymetrix microarray analysis, proteomics and mass spectrometry, molecular interaction analysis and a complete bioinformatics infrastructure to support the entire system. The center's mission is to be the best in applying modern bioinformatics and biotechnology to the study and treatment of pediatric catastrophic diseases.
• St. Jude is the world's only pediatric cancer research center to have an on-site Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility. The 64,000-square-foot GMP facility has a core unit dedicated to producing highly specialized medicines and vaccines under government-approved Good Manufacturing Practices guidelines. The GMP facility is equipped to make vaccines, drugs, proteins, gene-based molecules and other biological products. The facility also has Biological Safety Level (BSL) 3 laboratories that can accommodate work with microorganisms that must be specially contained.
• The late entertainer Danny Thomas founded both St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and ALSAC®, the hospital's fund-raising organization. ALSAC assumes all patient treatment expenses not covered by third-party insurers and all expenses when insurance is not available. No child is ever turned away from St. Jude because of an inability to pay.
About 5,400 patients visit St. Jude yearly, most of whom are treated on a continuing outpatient basis as part of ongoing research programs. The hospital is licensed for 78 inpatient beds. St. Jude has treated children from across the United States and around the world.
St. Jude is a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center. This prestigious recognition makes St. Jude the first and only NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center solely focused on pediatric cancer to receive the distinction.
The University of Tennessee/ West Clinic, located in Memphis, Tennessee, is the adult cancer partner of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The unique partnership between the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and West Clinic includes collaboration with other major healthcare and research institutions in the Mid-South. This association combines the research and teaching capabilities of a leading institution with one of the region's major cancer clinics to provide patients the best care available.