PedPanCan - A Pan-Cancer Study of Childhood Cancers
Cure rates for childhood cancers have increased to ~80% in the last decades1, but still cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children over 1 year of age. Furthermore, a large proportion of the surviving children suffer from severe long-term side effects of surgery, cytotoxic chemotherapy, and radiotherapy including mental disabilities and secondary cancers.
Developing more specific therapies with less long-term side effects is thus of paramount importance. One of the crucial steps in this regard is identifying the genetic repertoire of pediatric malignancies, which is being tackled by sequencing cancers from various entities to identify the driving genetic abnormalities within individual entities and across pediatric cancer types.
In our “Pediatric Pan-Cancer” (PedPanCan) study, we inventoried genetic alterations in childhood cancers on multiple levels incorporating structural variations and copy number analysis besides small mutations, both in a somatic and germline context, linking these to mutational signatures, and including an interpretation in terms of druggability. As compared to adult cancers, pediatric cancers are rare and the mutational burden is overall much lower. Thus, this comprehensive catalogue of driving events and potential drug targets is of tremendous scientific value, which is now available to the research community. Insitutions contributing data to this compendium are listed here.