Research

Using Precision Medicine to Improve Pediatric Cancer Treatment

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 1, 2022

EXCITING UPDATE November 1, 2022: The largest academic collaboration of its kind was announced last month, and it builds off this St. Baldrick’s supported work. The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will collaborate to transform and accelerate the identification of vulnerabilities in pediatric cancers and translate them into better treatments.

Dr. Stegmaier said, “The Pediatric Cancer Dependency Map provided our community with a treasure trove of new data. However, the next critical step was to validate candidate gene targets emerging from this project. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation Robert J Arceci Innovation Award provided the critical funding for us to demonstrate the power of the Pediatric Cancer Dependency Map. 

With St. Baldrick’s support, we validated new candidate therapeutic targets in childhood cancers, such as Ewing sarcoma and neuroblastoma, which have led to the launching of drug discovery efforts, and we have gained novel insights into the mechanistic underpinnings of these diseases.  We were able to show our community the power of the project. I think we are just at the tip of the iceberg.  We are all very excited about the promise of what is to come through this new large-scale collaboration.”

We are excited to see the impact this collaboration has in helping to conquer childhood cancer.

What was once just a concept is now a reality: Precision pediatric cancer care to improve treatment.

Researchers can now sequence all the genes in the genome in an individual patient’s cancer to find gene changes or targets, and then in some cases, identify drugs that match those targets to improve treatment. (A genome includes all the genes in a cell, in this case, a cancer cell.)

This has absolutely transformed how doctors treat children with cancer in some cases.

Survival curve chart for ALL Schultz & Devidas, Leukemia 2014

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