The Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative is working to change the story for childhood cancer patients by leveraging genomic data and computational approaches to identify less toxic and more effective treatments. We do this by analyzing a child’s cancer data against both childhood and adult patient cohorts across all types of cancer, comparing individual pediatric tumors against a vast database of 11,000+ tumors. This “pan-cancer” analysis of adult and pediatric tumors may predict situations in which an adult drug might work on a subset of pediatric patients. We support the sharing and distribution of genomic information to researchers everywhere because large genomic datasets can be used as comparison data, offering clinical teams the genomic information needed to better understand what is happening with kids who are suffering from relapsed, refractory and rare cancers.
Synovial sarcoma is a rare and aggressive cancer which occurs most commonly in the arms and legs, near joints and tendons. With support from The Live for Others Foundation, founded by teenager Tim Vorenkamp who tragically passed away from synovial sarcoma in 2016, Treehouse is now able to focus research efforts on accessing synovial sarcoma tumor data from different institutions, including hospitals and research centers, to improve comparative computational analysis we can provide for children currently in treatment with a synovial sarcoma diagnosis. Over the last year, we have more than doubled the number of synovial sarcoma tumor data in our database. We are currently working to assess additional synovial sarcoma data, which will further enhance the value of our research.
Ultimately, the goal of Treehouse is to offer synovial sarcoma cancer patients hope by connecting the dots: when we can point to molecular-level similarities linking a patient’s cancer with cancer tumors that were treated successfully, new treatment possibilities open.