University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

Take On Cancer

Take On Cancer is what we do at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. In a world where 1 in 2.5 people will hear "it's cancer," we want to make sure that you are able to take on cancer too.

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Family genetic counseling can identify children at risk for cancer

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As many as 10% of pediatric cancer patients have a cancer-related gene mutation

As advances in next generation sequencing technology becomes increasingly important in treating adult cancers, the same advances are equally important in managing treatment for pediatric cancer patients. For example, recent work by researchers at the University of Michigan on the Peds-MiOncoSeq study found that identifying mutations present in tumor tissue can lead to changes in treatment recommendations.

But this type of clinical sequencing can also help identify children who have hereditary syndromes that predispose them to cancer risk. This study found that 10% of pediatric patients with cancer who had sequencing of their tumor and normal tissue were found to have a gene mutation associated with cancer risk. A second study from the St. Jude-Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project found that 8.5% of their pediatric cancer study population had a gene mutation associated with cancer risk.

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the issues and questions that arise can be overwhelming for parents and caregivers. They may be presented with many options for clinical trials and research studies, while also facing multiple medical appointments and juggling school and work responsibilities. The number of specialists involved, questions asked, and amount of new information can be overwhelming.

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