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World's largest release of comprehensive human cancer genome data helps speed discoveries
Date:5/29/2012

are this data with the research community in hopes that others can build upon our initial discoveries."

The Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has already yielded significant insights into aggressive childhood cancers of the retina, brainstem and blood published in leading international scientific journals. Project researchers working on the eye tumor retinoblastoma discovered clues to the tumor's rapid development that enabled them identify a promising new anti-cancer agent. Investigators studying a deadly childhood leukemia known as early T-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ETP-ALL) found unexpected genetic alterations that could change diagnosis and treatment for patients with this disease. Efforts to understand the genetic changes underlying a brainstem tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) found that a startling 78 percent of the tumors carried changes in two genes not previously tied to cancer. Most recently, project researchers identified a gene mutation associated with a chronic and often fatal form of neuroblastomaa discovery that provides the first clue about the genetic basis of the long-recognized but poorly understood link between treatment outcome and age at diagnosis.

"These findings would not have been possible without the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project," said Downing. He said these results offer new strategies for finding and treating these high-risk cancers. The project has also demonstrated the marked differences between pediatric and adult cancers, underscoring the importance of developing therapies specifically for childhood cancers.


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Contact: Summer Freeman
summer.freeman@stjude.org
901-595-3061
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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