Newly emerging adult cancer therapy is focused on drugs that kill only the cancer and are not toxic to the normal cells of the patient. They accomplish this by using molecular genetic approaches to identify the “Achilles heel” of each tumor type and attacking this weak spot in a highly specific manner. This is known as “targeted therapeutics,” and it has had great success in a number of adult cancers. Unfortunately, pediatric cancers are so different from adult cancers that targeted therapeutics must be developed specifically for pediatric cancer.
Through the development of molecularly targeted drugs for children with cancer, children world-wide could benefit from additional drugs leading to a greater number of cures that would not be associated with life-long severe medical late-effects currently caused by standard cancer treatments. An integral first important step in this targeted therapeutic research initiative is to build an integrated comprehensive database that would house the genetic tumor information for subsequent comparative analysis.
It is now technically and financially feasible to generate extensive genome-wide data sets on individual human subjects in multiple locations.
Essential to collaborative molecular pediatric cancer research is the development of an integrated database structure that is “standardized” both in data input, data fields, and data integration. Such databases would put more focus on quality control and standard operating procedures, with an effort to provide consistency in data structures that would enable more powerful data analysis tools. It is believed by experts in the field that the development of an integrated database would more quickly and more accurately achieve the molecular tissues analysis necessary to move this essential drug development forward.
The American Childhood Cancer Organization, continues to take the lead in this research initiative and continues to raise funds nationally as well as through the ACCO affiliate research fundraising efforts. Through the development of targeted therapeutic drugs, children with cancer world-wide can be given hope for a cure, and hope for long term survival that lessens the life-threatening late effects of current toxic treatment. Your restricted donation to this important research goal will help bring much-needed new treatments.