Testing solid tumours for genetic changes that can be targeted by drugs has revolutionised the treatment of many adults with cancer.
New research by scientists at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center suggests it can have significant benefits for many younger patients as well.
Alanna J. Church, MD, Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, will present results from the GAIN/iCat2 consortium study, which is evaluating the use of genomic profiling of solid tumours in children and young adults.
The report includes data on 345 study participants with molecular profiling, who were diagnosed with solid, non-brain tumours at age 30 or younger.
299 patients (87%) had at least one genomic alteration that could impact the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of their disease, the researchers found.
Thirty-one patients were treated with matched targeted therapies and six patients had extraordinary responses to treatment.
All patients with extraordinary responses matched to a gene fusion, and 78% of diagnostically significant alterations were fusions.
Molecular tumour profiling has a significant impact on diagnosis and treatment recommendations for young patients with solid tumours.
These results emphasise the importance of fusion detection for patients with sarcomas and rare tumours, said Church, the lead author of the study, which was the highest rated paediatric oncology abstract at the ASCO conference, and winner of the Conquer Cancer Nachman Award.
Source: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute