International study of rare childhood cancer finds genetic clues, potential for tailored therapy
In children with rhabdomyosarcoma, or RMS, a rare cancer that affects the muscles and other soft tissues, the presence of mutations in several genes, including TP53, MYOD1, and CDKN2A, appears to be associated with a more aggressive form of the disease and a poorer chance of survival. This finding is from the largest-ever international study on RMS, led by scientists at the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Center for Cancer Research, part of the National Institutes of Health.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on June 24, provides an unprecedented look at data for a large cohort of patients with RMS, offering genetic clues that could lead to more widespread use of tumor genetic testing to predict how individual patients with this childhood cancer will respond to therapy, as well as to the development of targeted treatments for the disease.
“These discoveries change what we do with these patients and trigger a lot of really important research into developing new therapies that target these mutations,” said Javed Khan, M.D., of NCI’s Genetics Branch, who led the study.
This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022