Precision medicine in pediatric oncology

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The current review describes recent advances and unique challenges in precision medicine for pediatric cancers and highlights clinical trials assessing the clinical impact of targeted therapy matched to molecular alterations identified by tumor profiling.

Recent findings

Multiple prospective clinical sequencing studies in pediatric oncology have been reported in the last 2 years. These studies demonstrated feasibility of sequencing in the clinic and revealed a rate of actionable variants that justifies the development of precision trials for childhood cancer. A number of precision medicine trials are recently completed, underway or in development and these will be reviewed herein, with a focus on highlighting aspects of precision medicine trial design relevant to pediatric oncology.

Summary

The primary results of the first round of pediatric precision oncology clinical trials will provide us with a greater understanding of the clinical impact of linking tumor profiling to selection of targeted therapies. The aggregation of sequencing and clinical data from these trials and the results of biologic investigations linked to these trials will drive further discoveries and broaden opportunities for precision medicine for children with cancer.

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