We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress hp
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App

Molecular Profiling Improves Diagnosis for Children with High Risk Cancers

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 03 Jun 2024
Print article
Image: Initially aimed at children with high-risk cancers, ZERO now includes all young cancer patients in Australia (Photo courtesy of Zero Childhood Cancer)
Image: Initially aimed at children with high-risk cancers, ZERO now includes all young cancer patients in Australia (Photo courtesy of Zero Childhood Cancer)

Cancer remains the leading cause of disease-related death among children in most developed nations, and approximately one-fourth of these patients are diagnosed with aggressive, high-risk, or relapsed cancers, facing a dismal five-year survival rate of under 30%. Diagnosing these conditions accurately can be challenging, and even survivors often endure lifelong side effects from the harsh treatments required for their recovery. Now, researchers have demonstrated that through precision medicine, not only can diagnoses be more accurate, but implementing precision-guided, targeted treatments earlier can also enhance the two-year progression-free survival rates for young cancer patients.

The Zero Childhood Cancer National Precision Medicine Program (ZERO) (Randwick, Australia), initially aimed at children with high-risk cancers, now includes all young cancer patients in Australia. Since its inception in 2017, the program has enrolled over 1,600 children. ZERO’s inaugural clinical trial, which ran from 2017 to 2022, yielded insights into genetic predispositions to cancer by identifying gene variants in the germline, or child genomic cancer risk, in 16% of children with high-risk cancers. The study revealed that whole genome sequencing (WGS) was more effective in detecting these germline cancer predisposition variants than traditional clinical testing methods. This is largely because more than half of these variants had not been previously detected in standard clinical settings, as the patients did not meet conventional testing criteria. Moreover, about 70% of these germline variants were not previously associated with the cancer types observed in the patients.

Interestingly, 80% of these newly identified variants had implications for cancer surveillance and risk reduction among the patients' relatives, offering a much greater benefit than standard clinical practices. This finding holds profound implications for both patients and their families. Moving forward, researchers aim to enhance the application of precision medicine by identifying new cancer-driving targets, aligning these targets with more effective and less harmful treatments, and developing better, minimally invasive methods to monitor the behavior of a child’s cancer. They also plan to speed up access to clinical trials by expanding the ability to match more targets with appropriate treatments and aim to integrate precision medicine more seamlessly into standard healthcare systems.

“The tools needed to implement precision medicine more widely are not cheap, but its unquestionable promise in better stratifying the diagnosis and identifying the most likely effective targeted treatments for an individual’s cancer, together with the reduction in costs as technologies, computational capabilities, and automation improves leads me to believe that, in the future, multiomic profiling driving research-guided clinical care will be the gold standard, not just in cancer, but in many other diseases too,” said Associate Professor Vanessa Tyrrell, Director of ZERO.

Related Links:
Zero Childhood Cancer Program

Platinum Member
Flu SARS-CoV-2 Combo Test
OSOM® Flu SARS-CoV-2 Combo Test
Magnetic Bead Separation Modules
Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Test
GPP-100 Anti-CCP Kit
Gold Member
Hemoglobin Testing System

Print article


Clinical Chemistry

view channel
Image: The new DxC 500i Clinical Analyzer is an integrated clinical chemistry and immunoassay analyzer (Photo courtesy of Beckman Coulter Diagnostics)

Integrated Chemistry and Immunoassay Analyzer with Extensive Assay Menu Offers Flexibility, Scalability and Data Commutability

As global healthcare systems increasingly shift towards networked laboratory operational models to enhance efficiency and patient access, there is a greater need for innovative solutions tailored to the... Read more


view channel
Image: The Truvian diagnostic platform combines clinical chemistry, immunoassay and hematology testing in a single run (Photo courtesy of Truvian Health)

Automated Benchtop System to Bring Blood Testing To Anyone, Anywhere

Almost all medical decisions are dependent upon laboratory test results, which are essential for disease prevention and the management of chronic illnesses. However, routine blood testing remains limited worldwide.... Read more


view channel
Image: The Simplexa C. auris direct kit is a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay run on the LIAISON MDX instrument (Photo courtesy of Diasorin)

Novel Molecular Test to Help Prevent and Control Multi Drug-Resistant Fungal Pathogen in Healthcare Settings

Candida auris (C. auris) is a rapidly emerging multi drug-resistant fungal pathogen that is commonly found in healthcare environments, where it presents a challenge due to its ability to asymptomatically... Read more


view channel
Image: Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella Typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells (Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH)

AI Identifies Drug-Resistant Typhoid-Like Infection from Microscopy Images within Hours

Antimicrobial resistance is becoming a serious global health concern, making many infections increasingly difficult to treat and limiting available treatment options. This escalation in resistance raises... Read more


view channel
Image: Beckman Coulter will utilize the ALZpath pTau217 antibody to detect key biomarker for Alzheimer\'s disease on its DxI 9000 immunoassay analyzer (Photo courtesy of Beckman Coulter)

Beckman Coulter Licenses Alzpath's Proprietary P-tau 217 Antibody to Develop Alzheimer's Blood Test

Cognitive assessments have traditionally been the primary method for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, but this approach has its limitations as symptoms become apparent only after significant brain changes... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.