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Foundation Medicine research associate, Zachary Chalmers, presented promising new data showing that the integration of comprehensive genomic profiling into clinical cancer care can lead to positive outcomes in children with brain cancer. These findings were presented in a poster entitled, “Comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) of pediatric gliomas reveals a high frequency of clinically relevant genomic alterations (CRGA) to inform treatment decisions” at the 3rd Biennial Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Basic and Translational Research Conference in San Diego. In the study, FoundationOne®, identified a high frequency of clinically relevant genomic alterations in pediatric gliomas that informed treatment decisions and, in some cases, resulted in promising outcomes.

There are few things as devastating to childhood as brain cancer. Pediatric glioma, a group of brain tumors that start in the glial cells of children, is a notoriously challenging disease. Glioma is further complicated by the toxicity associated with standard of care therapies, making the decision incredibly important to select treatments with the best therapeutic index. In this instance, comprehensive genomic profiling identified BRAF fusions (among others) in several patients in the study. This fusion correlates with exquisite sensitivity to chemotherapy, resulting in partial to complete responses in several patients while avoiding treatment with radiotherapy. We believe this study demonstrates that comprehensive genomic profiling can serve a key role in the oncologic care of children with glioma, providing the potential to identify opportunities for the optimal matching of treatment to disease severity while minimizing side effects. Ultimately, the data support a clear need to expand the use of comprehensive genomic profiling beyond adult cancer care and into the pediatric community to guide therapeutic decisions.

At Foundation Medicine, we strive every day to put precision medicine into practice and deliver better outcomes for those with cancer. There is nothing more gratifying to us than to apply our work to pediatric cancers and make a big difference in the lives of little ones fighting the toughest of all battles. We remain resolute in our mission and we look forward to the day when comprehensive genomic profiling is part of routine cancer care for children and adults, everywhere.

For more information on the data, see our press release.