Research Cancer Biomarkers & Therapeutics

Nemours Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders

The goal of our work in cancer and blood disorders is, very simply, to find a cure. To do so, we’re constantly searching for new biomarkers (molecules that show whether bodily conditions are normal or cancerous) and better treatments.

Our work is organized within the Nemours Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (NCCBD), a pediatric cancer center that includes our clinical and pediatric cancer research programs at the Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida and Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville, Orlando and Pensacola, Fla. Each of our locations has been recognized for having outstanding participation in clinical trials, and for clinical trial access and management.

Current Projects

A Wealth of Research Projects

Nemours supports many Children’s Oncology Group (COG) clinical trials and investigator-initiated studies, with collaboration among our hematology/oncology specialists and researchers. Across all of our sites, we’re currently involved in approximately 96 COG and 25 non-COG studies and more than 90 industry-sponsored clinical trials. We also conduct additional studies in our research labs.

Most of our patients participate in clinical trials of one type or other — in 2011 and 2012, for example, we enrolled 60 percent of our new cancer patients in clinical trials. We also maintain research affiliations with National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers, including the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at ChristianaCare Health System in Newark, Del.


Other research partnerships include the: 

Our Centers

Center of Excellence

The Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (NCCBD) works to maximize Nemours’ resources across all of our locations. Our mission is to develop and implement a coordinated research strategy for cancer and blood disorders, enable quality clinical and research efforts, and develop educational resources and programs for our staff across all disciplines. We operate focused programs in pediatric cancer research (the Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research) and sickle cell disease (the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Research Program).

Our care has been regularly named among the nation’s best in pediatric cancer care by U.S. News and World Report. We believe that our rigorous approach to research, combined with our excellent clinical care, is a big reason why.



We’ve been a full member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) since it formed in 2000, a member of the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC), and a founding member of the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP). In addition, Nemours locations in Delaware and Florida have received accreditation from the internationally-recognized Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT). This group of leading experts recognizes our work in the field of cellular therapy transplantation.

Labs & Facilities

At Nemours, pediatric cancer research is very much a group effort. Our physicians not only deliver care, they’re actively involved with research and in constant contact with the research scientists in our labs. 


High-Throughput Screening and Drug Discovery Lab

With the use of robotic equipment, Nemours researchers at our high-throughput lab (based at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware) are able to screen thousands of potential drugs in a short time (this is called, “high-throughput”). Currently, we’re working to identify more effective treatments for childhood leukemia.

Learn More About Our High-Throughput Screening & Drug Discovery Lab

Principal Investigators

The Nemours Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders is fortunate to have excellent leadership. Our physician leaders participate or play a leadership role in a variety of national cancer organizations and studies.


E. Anders Kolb, MD (Wilmington, Del.)

The program is led by Dr. Kolb, who is heavily involved in advanced research programs to find new cancer drugs that are more effective, with fewer side effects. A founding member of the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP) and the newly appointed chair of the Myeloid Disease Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), Dr. Kolb also led the effort to obtain Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) accreditation for Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware. In addition, Dr. Kolb is the Director of the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and Associate Director of Nemours’ Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP). He’s on a number of COG and the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC) committees, and a member of the Pediatric Working Group of the American Association of Cancer Research.


Robin E. Miller, MD (Wilmington, Del.)

Dr. Miller serves as Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware’s Cancer Control Champion for COG. She is the director of the Sickle Cell Program at the hospital and has been awarded the Delaware End-of-Life Coalition Physician Excellence Award.


Eric S. Sandler, MD (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Dr. Eric Sandler is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Mayo School of Medicine. He served as Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Nemours Children’s Health-Jacksonville from 1998- 2017 and currently serves as Chairman, Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Sandler serves as Director of Neuro-Oncology and Co-director of the Vascular Malformations Program at Nemours Children’s Health. Dr. Sandler has served on numerous boards and committees on the state and national level including the PDQ Supportive Care Editorial Committee of the NCI, The Governor’s Cancer Control and Research Advisory Board, including his role as Chair of the Board from 2008 – 2009, and the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society-Florida Division where he held several positions, including Chair of the Cancer Control Committee, Chairman of the Board and President as well as National Assembly delegate. He has also served on several committees of the Children’s Oncology Group and the American Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. At Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Dr. Sandler has served as Chief of Staff and on the Board of Directors since 2008, serving as Chairman of the Board from 2018-21. Dr. Sandler has received the American Cancer Society St. George Medal and the Lane Adams award for his work in improving the quality of life for children with cancer. Dr. Sandler’s major areas of focus include management of children with CNS tumors, comprehensive care for children with cancer as well as management of children with vascular malformations. He also has an interest in International Health and has led teams of physicians to Mongolia and China. He was recently awarded an Honorary Professorship at the National Center for Maternal and Child Health of Mongolia.

Dr. Sandler has been an invited speaker at numerous local, national and international meetings, and has authored or co-authored over 70 peer reviewed manuscripts and at least 5 book chapters.

Scott M. Bradfield, MD (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Dr. Bradfield is our Cancer Control Champion for Florida, and committee member of our Community Clinical Oncology Program. Dr. Bradfield is an assistant professor of Pediatrics at Mayo School of Medicine and Associate Division Chief at Nemours Children's Health, Jacksonville. He has been the Cancer Committee Chairman in Jacksonville for many years, emphasizing quality of care with improved outcomes. His main research focus is in cancer control, currently serving as the Study Principal Investigator for a Suncoast Research Base cancer study.


Cynthia A. Gauger, MD (Jacksonville, Fla.)

A nationally recognized expert in pediatric bleeding disorders, Dr. Gauger has been at Nemours Children's Health, Jacksonville since 2000. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Florida Medical School. She also serves as the Medical Director of the Hemophilia Treatment Center and is very active with the national and state Hemophilia Foundations. Dr. Gauger’s primary areas of interest are in hemostasis (a process which causes bleeding to stop), sickle cell disease thrombosis (blood clots in sickle cell patients), and benign hematology (the study of blood, blood-forming organs, and blood diseases).


Michael J. Joyce, MD, PhD (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Dr. Joyce has been with Nemours Children's Health, Jacksonville since 1990 and has run our hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) program since 1994. He currently serves as both the overall program director and director of the pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program of the Mayo Clinic, Nemours Children’s Clinic, and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. He’s also served as the Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), which ensures that safe research protocols are followed and that participants are protected for the Baptist Health Care System since 2004. Dr. Joyce’s interests include stem cell and umbilical cord blood transplantation.


Ramamoorthy Nagasubramanian, MD (Orlando, Fla.)

At our Nemours Children’s Hospital and Nemours Children's Health, Downtown Orlando, Dr. Nagasubramanian is the division chief of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology for our clinic, and has a distinguished history in cancer care and research. He is a member of the COG voting body, and serves as the Site Lead Investigator for our Orlando site.

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Research Publications

Browse a listing of publications from Nemours researchers related to cancer biomarkers and therapeutics research.

Collaborate With Us

With active labs in the Delaware Valley and Florida, we’re always seeking new research partners to collaborate with. Join us.

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Make a Gift

Donations help provide critical support for research. Learn more about how you can support the research efforts at Nemours.