Comparative RNA sequencing analysis, conducted across four precision medicine studies, was feasible and potentially useful for 68% of children with cancer

Laura Joszt | AJMC | November 16, 2019

Genomic profiling of tumors has become standard in oncology, but tumors in children often do not have actionable DNA aberrations, requiring another way to effectively target treatment for these patients. A study in JAMA Network Open found that RNA sequencing from pediatric and young adult patients may be a feasible approach.
The foundation announced July 23 that its 55 grants, totaling $17.5 million, will support research efforts benefiting childhood cancer patients. Grant recipients include the University of Connecticut, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and other institutions.

“In pediatric cancer, it often isn’t a DNA mutation driving the cancer but an error in development caused by a change in how gene expression is regulated,” Olena Vaske, PhD, BSc, the Colligan Presidential Chair in Pediatric Genomics at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), explained in a statement.

Vaske and colleagues looked at 144 tumor samples from 128 patients with pediatric cancer. The patients were enrolled in 4 precision medicine clinical trials in the United States and Canada. The patients underwent tumor RNA sequencing.

The participating institutions sent the UCSC researchers the RNA sequencing data. Each site had its own precision medicine protocol and UCSC served as a third party conducting secondary analysis of the tumor data from each site.

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