Scientists at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have discovered that blocking the master regulator of bone renewal stops osteosarcoma - the most common primary bone cancer in children and teens, and the malignant disease that was fatal for Canadian icon Terry Fox.
Comprehensive genomic screening may be warranted for all pediatric patients with cancer, not just those with a family history of cancer. The finding comes from a detailed analysis of the role germline mutations in genes associated with cancer predisposition play in the development of childhood cancer.
Genomic tools are helping to guide the search for new insights into uncommon childhood cancers like pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and lymphomas — insights that, researchers hope, will improve survival rates and better spare survivors of childhood cancers from long-term treatment-associated health effects in adulthood, according to experts who spoke Saturday, December 5 at the 57th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.
Of the approximately 400 children and adolescents diagnosed each year in the United States with rhabdomyosarcoma, between one in five and one in six will be considered high-risk patients by virtue of the presence of one or more sites of distant metastatic disease, most commonly involving lymph nodes, bones, bone marrow, and the lungs. These patients tend to be disproportionately older, of male sex, and have alveolar histology, and most present with bulky tumors (> 5 cm). Typically, though, even in patients with widespread disease, these bulky tumors respond promptly and dramatically to any number of chemotherapy regimens.