Children's Hospital Colorado

Q: Advances and Answers in Pediatric Health

By prioritizing and advancing research, education, clinical work and process improvement, we're speeding the integration of our discoveries into the clinical engine, helping patients in new and innovative ways. A unique and strong partnership with University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus provides fresh perspectives and invaluable expertise, as do our relationships with national and international research consortiums, industry partners and other children's hospitals.

It starts with a Q:

Like the kids we treat at Children's Hospital Colorado, we're creating a culture that continuously inspires curiosity. Doing so unlocks a new realm of pediatrics — one that swaps insular science and medicine for collaborative, progressive approaches to accelerating discovery.

Questions once asked within the silos of specific specialties are more and more commonly being addressed across multidisciplinary planes. These approaches are producing remarkable advances because here, we imagine the future and simultaneously create it.

Read the latest articles from our current issue of Q: and find all past issues below.

Improving survival in childhood cancer

Researchers know intensified postinduction therapy improves survival in children with high-risk B-cell ALL. The results from a multicenter, international study led by Kelly Maloney, MD, showed very good outcomes for kids with standard-risk ALL as a whole, but not entirely because treatment was given more intensively.

Q: Does more intensity to standard chemotherapy treatment improve survival in children with standard-risk ALL?

Dr. Maloney portrait photo
Physician talking with mother and son

Double or nothing

LaShawn was born with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, with congenital hepatic fibrosis — a condition that has a high mortality rate in the first year after birth. LaShawn survived but had significant health complications. His complex condition required an innovative approach that led to a rare double transplant surgery.

Q: Could a rare approach to a complex and multidisciplinary double transplant surgery actually be successful?

Telehealth worker

The forefront of telehealth

Telehealth has been an option for providers at Children’s Colorado for the past decade. Very few used it, though, due in large part to government regulations and lack of reimbursements. But telehealth director Fred Thomas, PhD, and medical director Christina Olson, MD, and their team still worked to build the program’s infrastructure. That work would come in handy — namely when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Q: How do we weave a telehealth infrastructure into the fabric of our operation so that it’s there when our providers need it most?

Researcher working with convalescent plasma

Path to convalescence

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA approved the somewhat obscure treatment known as convalescent plasma as a treatment. Although COVID-19 didn’t seem to be affecting children as seriously as adults, experts from our Blood Donor Center quickly stepped up to collect convalescent plasma to make it available to critically ill adults.

Q: How does the pediatric community serve in a pandemic that primarily affects adults?

Dr. Nicholas Cost working with young girl

Rare forms

Metastatic translocation-type renal cell carcinoma, or RCC, is extremely rare, making it almost impossible to study in the pediatric population. Pediatric urologic and oncologist Dr. Nicholas Cost, MD, was undeterred by the challenge. He partnered with another pediatric oncologist to find a unique approach for studying this rare cancer.

Q: What would it take to get kids and adults in the same study of an extremely rare type of kidney cancer?

ACL doctor talking to patient

Introduction of a novel reconstruction in adolescents

Prior to 2007, the standard of care for ACL reconstruction in adolescents was to use a hamstring tendon. But research found that the hamstring wasn’t firing in the right pattern or with the right strength. So orthopedic surgeon, Jay Albright, MD, found an alternative graft with lower ACL retear rates that is now used by orthopedic surgeons around the country.

Q: Could an alternative graft for adolescent ACL reconstruction help reduce the risk of retear?

Portrait of Dr. Adam Green

No time to waste

There are very few effective treatments for high-grade glioma. When a novel drug called selinexor produced promising results in both pediatric and adult lab models, as well as adult clinical trials, researchers worked quickly to make it available for study in the pediatric realm.

Q: Will a new drug work in combination with radiation therapy to target high-grade gliomas?

A model lab

A multidisciplinary team within our Catheterization Lab is creating detailed images of vessels and airways, life-size 3D printed models and virtual reality-based animations that place interventionists inside a beating heart.

Q: What if 3D rotational angiography could do the work of a CT scan?

3D image of heart

Past issues of Q:

Download previous issues of Q: to learn how our clinicians work together and across specialties to continually improve patient care and outcomes.

Stay informed