Review

Ushering in the next generation of precision trials for pediatric cancer

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Science  15 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6432, pp. 1175-1181
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw4153

Abstract

Cancer treatment decisions are increasingly based on the genomic profile of the patient’s tumor, a strategy called “precision oncology.” Over the past few years, a growing number of clinical trials and case reports have provided evidence that precision oncology is an effective approach for at least some children with cancer. Here, we review key factors influencing pediatric drug development in the era of precision oncology. We describe an emerging regulatory framework that is accelerating the pace of clinical trials in children as well as design challenges that are specific to trials that involve young cancer patients. Last, we discuss new drug development approaches for pediatric cancers whose growth relies on proteins that are difficult to target therapeutically, such as transcription factors.

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