- Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Two Omaha health systems plan to create a network for pediatric clinical trials.

The systems said that the network will eventually let Nebraska children remain closer to home for such trials, according to the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/2ex6CFf ).

The University of Nebraska Medical Center and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center are establishing the network as part of a four-year, $1.6 million grant that the university center received from the National Institutes of Health. The federal agency gifted grants to 17 health centers nationwide to start an initiative to understand how exposure to various environmental factors from conception through early childhood can affect children and adolescents’ health.

Dr. Jessica Snowden, an associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the university center, said the “patients are going to get access to clinical trials that are the cutting edge of what we have available in pediatric care.” Snowden said the trials will allow children in rural and undeserved areas, who often don’t get access to trials due to transportation or lack of awareness, to participate with the rest of the children.

Snowden said because most large-scale studies are for adults, pediatricians must often make decisions by inferring from what’s known about adults.

NIH will focus on four pediatric outcomes that impact public health: upper and lower respiratory diseases such as asthma and allergies, childhood obesity, conditions such as prematurity and birth defects, and neurological development. Snowden said it appears at least 30 trials are ready to launch, however researchers don’t yet know the exact number of trials that will open.

Researchers are looking at starting to enroll patients within the next six months.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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