Pediatric hematology/oncology specialist joins Norton Children’s Cancer Institute

Natalie F. Slone, D.O., completed her fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and most recently practiced at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Natalie F. Slone, D.O., a pediatric hematology/oncology specialist focusing on solid tumors  and sarcomas in children and teens, has joined Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine.

Her interest and passion for treating these cancers are in the challenge and the need to sometimes get creative to find the right solution.

“It’s not always a straightforward treatment plan,” Dr. Slone said. “A lot of times, treatments may not work the way you want them to, and it forces us as physicians to think outside the box and pushes us to find more treatment strategies, to consult experts across the country. When we’re successful, I feel so joyous and happy because it is so challenging.”

Embracing these challenges, Dr. Slone focused on emerging immunotherapy research during her pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

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Dendritic cell immunotherapy research

While at MD Anderson, she joined an immunology laboratory, where she helped conduct research focused on the development of a dendritic cell vaccine. Dendritic cells work by communicating other immune cells to help shape the immune response to different viruses, bacteria or tumors.

The researchers within the lab were focused on the development of a dendritic cell vaccine for treating melanoma. While at the lab, Dr. Slone looked to incorporate the learnings of the dendritic cell vaccine to osteosarcoma. It remains a challenging cancer.

“Unfortunately, for the past 20 years, researchers have not been able to find more and better treatments for osteosarcoma in children and young adults,” Dr. Slone said. “We have initial chemotherapy regimens, but it is important to find treatments that are less toxic long term and that will yield better prognoses for our patients with more advanced disease.”

Dr. Slone received her medical degree from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, West Virginia, before completing a residency in pediatrics at Atlantic Health System/Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, New Jersey. She comes to Norton Children’s Cancer Institute from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

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