Pediatric Cancer Genomics Shows Promise in Personalizing Care

October 2, 2015
Pediatric Cancer Genomics Shows Promise in Personalizing Care
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Genomic medicine is already demonstrating its valuable uses in pediatric oncology. These uses, however, are mainly limited to diagnostics and risk stratification. Another use, perhaps the most ambitious use, is the development of personalized treatment plans. However, whether or not treatment plans for individual patients can be customized on the basis of genome sequencing data has yet to be demonstrated. Nonetheless, one recent study indicates that genome sequencing may guide treatment decisions and improve patient outcomes.

This study was undertaken by scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. According to these scientists, the incorporation of integrative clinical genomic sequencing data into clinical management was not only feasible, but also revealed potentially actionable findings in nearly half of the patients; and was associated with change in treatment and family genetics counseling for a small proportion of patients.

These findings appeared in the September 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, in an article entitled, “Integrative Clinical Sequencing in the Management of Refractory or Relapsed Cancer in Youth,” in which, “clinical sequencing” refers to sequencing of tumor DNA and RNA as well as normal DNA, and “integrative” refers to procedures used to incorporate sequencing into clinical management.

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