The Mario Lemieux Lymphoma Center for Children and Young Adults will be established at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC through a generous $2.5M gift from the Mario Lemieux Foundation. The Lemieux Lymphoma Center will be the first of its kind, focusing on clinical care, laboratory research, and clinical research surrounding difficult-to-treat and rare childhood lymphomas. The Center will increase access to care and cutting-edge treatments for all childhood lymphomas, while also bringing together a critical volume of patients with rare lymphomas for research studies that can have a global impact on care.
The establishment of the Mario Lemieux Lymphoma Center for Children and Young Adults will allow for:
- Recruitment and funding of an expert clinician-researcher committed to curing lymphomas, with a particular interest in difficult-to-treat and rare lymphomas
- Leveraging the Pittsburgh region’s strong research resources by stimulating collaboration and directing efforts toward the rarer, and thus often neglected, types of lymphomas
- Launching a forum to bring together regional and global experts working in lymphoma research to draw attention to and foster collaboration around difficult-to-treat and rare pediatric lymphomas
- Fostering the growth of a program to support our patients who survive childhood cancer, the majority of whom have had leukemia or lymphoma
The Lemieux Lymphoma Center will be a destination for young patients with difficult-to-treat and rare lymphomas from North America and beyond. The inclusion of young adults, those in their teens and 20s, is important because studies have shown that this group has better outcomes when treated at a pediatric center. This Center will be a place where patient care and cutting-edge research are integrated so that treatment can improve as quickly as possible. It will be a place where gifted physician-scientists have the support to focus on ending the threat of childhood lymphomas. It will be a place where the story of Mario Lemieux’s own bouts with lymphoma will inspire children to be courageous patients and confident survivors. Like its namesake, the Center will truly be a one-of-a-kind convergence of talent and determination that could change the outlook for young patients with lymphoma.
The Lemieux Lymphoma Center will offer expert clinical care and pioneer new treatment protocols. It will also grow its research program to advance clinical and laboratory research toward effective treatments for life-threatening rare lymphomas. In a hard to treat case, such a center could have provided a glimmer of hope through faster access to experimental diagnostic tools and treatments. Other children could have benefited as investigators that are focused on rare lymphomas will have been available to study these cases and use it to more rapidly advance lymphoma knowledge for patients worldwide.