A Letter From Dr. Sholler

Dr. Sholler with neuroblastoma patient, Eleanor.

Hi everyone, I am Giselle Sholler and I am very excited to join you in Charlotte.  I could not be more proud to represent such a committed, dedicated and impactful organization as the new Isabella Santos Foundation Endowed Director of the Pediatric Oncology Solid and Rare Tumor Program at Levine Children’s Hospital. 

The growth that has occurred in Charlotte for Pediatric Oncology has largely been due to the partnership and generosity of the Isabella Santos Foundation. I look forward to bringing our research program here and I imagine that together, with ISF, the leadership of Dr. Oesterheld and the pediatric oncology team, we are
going make a difference bringing new and safer treatments to children cared for right here. 

The clinic will grow to become an international and national destination healthcare for children with solid tumors, brain cancers and rare cancers. We anticipate an additional 30-40 children flying to Charlotte each year for specialty care.  We will grow the precision medicine program, not only for children coming from across the globe, but also for all children diagnosed here in Charlotte. In collaboration with the Levine Cancer Institute we envision that every child diagnosed with a solid tumor here at Levine Children’s will have their tumor collected, banked, sequenced and created into cell lines for research. This is so important for us to learn all that we can about each child to help them as well as to perform research in our laboratory to help us create better treatments and new clinical trials.

We envision the research portfolio at Levine Children’s to grow, both in terms of new clinical trials as well as the creation of a pediatric oncology research laboratory.  Dr. Oesterheld and I have brainstormed new studies incorporating the MIBG room donated by ISF to improve outcomes using this modality.  We have already initiated a new Phase I study to open this summer that targets a pathway important in many childhood cancers using a GSK-B inhibitor. We are also working on a collaborative new program with UofF to bring genomic targeted therapy and immunotherapy together in one trial.  This will be a very novel study treating 10 children with neuroblastoma and 10 children with DIPG. 

This is just the beginning, over the next 5 years we hope to not only bring new and safer therapies here and expand research, we hope to create a new holistic care model for children diagnosed with cancer here in Charlotte. We want every child and family to have the most complete and safest care they can receive. This means not only understanding the biology of each child’s cancer using Precision Medicine and identifying the right therapies, it means harnessing the immune system to fight cancer with the best trials available, but it also means the inclusion of supportive and integrative medicine in collaboration with Dr. Pope’s program here at LCH, in includes strong nutritional support, child life, and social work support all working together as one team for each child.

I am thrilled to join you all and I want to thank the entire ISF board and team for making this position possible, for believing in LCH and Dr. Oesterhelds leadership of Pediatric Oncology. I look forward to becoming a part of your team!!