Gene sequencing project builds the foundation for next generation of childhood cancer care

As St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital celebrates its 50th anniversary and marks September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, investigators are focused on the future.

Although survival rates for childhood cancer have soared to about 80 percent nationally since the hospital opened in 1962, cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease for U.S. children between infancy and age 15. The cause of many childhood cancers remains uncertain. For some cancers, drug development has stalled. For others, successful treatment leaves survivors at increased risk for second cancers and other problems that threaten their health and well-being.

In response to such challenges, St. Jude launched the most ambitious effort yet to identify the causes of some of the most difficult and poorly understood childhood cancers. Known as the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, the three-year endeavor is using 21st century technology to decipher the complete normal and cancer genomes of 600 young patients with some of the toughest cancers. The human genome is stored in the DNA found in nearly all cells and provides the instructions needed to assemble and sustain a person.

View the original article here: Gene sequencing project builds the foundation for next generation of childhood … – RedOrbit

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