About the Tow Center for Developmental Oncology

About the Tow Center for Developmental Oncology

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Cancer biologist and pediatric oncologist Alex Kentsis

Cancer biologist and pediatric oncologist Alex Kentsis leads the Tow Center for Developmental Oncology.

The Tow Center for Developmental Oncology (TCDO) at MSK Kids and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was founded to address the distinct mechanisms that cause cancer in developing tissues in children and young adults. It was made possible by the generous founding support from The Tow Foundation and gifts from other farsighted donors.

Physicians and scientists in TCDO focus on translational research with an emphasis on 1) making key insights into the fundamental biology of cancers that affect children and young adults; 2) understanding how developmental processes are specifically dysregulated to cause cancer; and 3) development of definitive therapies of cancers that affect children and young adults. These are questions and goals of importance to both basic biological and applied oncological sciences. Their understanding is expected to provide fundamental insights in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and physiology. Likewise, this should advance molecular pathology and therapy of diverse human cancers, since childhood and young adult developmental cancers involve essential mechanisms of cancer pathogenesis.

With the generous support of The Tow Foundation and leadership of Alex Kentsis, TCDO aims to create a nexus of conceptual and technical innovation, to stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration, and support both basic discovery and preclinical therapeutic development. Consistent with these goals, these advances are expected to lead directly to new biological concepts and therapies, which will guide the development of new and improved treatments for patients.