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  • Studies investigating how liquid biopsy can potentially enable less invasive diagnosis and monitoring of Wilms’ tumor, a renal cancer that predominantly affects children aged 2 to 5 years, are among the highlights of the Pediatric Oncology panel of the 3rd Next Frontiers to Cure Cancer, an international congress promoted by the ACCamargo Cancer Center that will take place on May 10-12, 2018, in São Paulo.

    The aim of the investigators is to use urine and blood samples to identify the most prevalent somatic mutations in these tumors, which represent a less invasive method for early Wilms’ tumor screening. Currently, diagnosis is based on traditional biopsy of patients who already have a palpable mass, leading to more aggressive therapies and more intense side effects.

    Scientist and coordinator of ACCamargo’s Laboratory of Genomics and Molecular Biology, Dirce Maria Carraro led the study published in 2014 in Nature Communications, which identified new high frequent mutations in Wilms’ tumor, including those in the DROSHA gene, expanding the panel of changes associated with this type of cancer. Investigators from other institutions such as the Hospital for Sick Children and Cancer Control Alberta, both from Canada, as well as the Hospital Sírio-Libanês and Brazil’s National Cancer Institute (INCA) participated in the study.

    The expansion of this panel has paved the way for further research on subjects such as liquid biopsy. According to Dirce Carraro, this analysis could be a new frontier for curing Wilms tumor, a disease affecting one in every 10,000 children. “If we can diagnose Wilms’ tumor by finding tumor DNA in patients’ urine, we can start treating them before the first symptoms develop,” says Dirce Carraro.

    LEUKEMIA – The most prevalent cancer in children will also be a focal point of the Pediatric Oncology panel. We’d like to highlight the presentations that will be delivered by researchers César Nunez, an expert in lymphoid leukemia from the MDAnderson Cancer Center of the University of Texas, and Raul Ribeiro, a Brazilian who’s been in the US for over 30 years investigating advances in myeloid leukemia at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “There are many developments around leukemias and we would like to exchange information with professionals from centers with different realities”, says Cecília Lima da Costa, director of the Pediatric Oncology department at the ACCamargo Cancer Center and coordinator of the panel’s scientific program.

    The Pediatric Oncology panel is targeted at oncologists, hematologists, multidisciplinary professionals, residents and medical students involved with Pediatric Oncology as an opportunity to discuss state-of-the-art approaches and technological innovations in diagnosis and treatment, as well the most recent scientific publications in this field. The 12 lectures of the panel on pediatric tumors will take place on May 11 and 12. This program stands out for stressing the importance of differentiating children’s protocols from those of adults’, valuing the experience of institutions and professionals specializing in cancer. Multidisciplinary classes on nursing, nutrition and humanization will close this panel program.

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  • Gene panels for hereditary cancer, one of largest innovations in Oncogenetics over the last couple of years, will be the subject addressed by Jeffrey N. Weitzel, MD, director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at City of Hope, CA. Dr. Weitzel is the guest that will address this issue in the Oncogenetics panel on the last day of Next Frontiers conference.

    These gene panels allow for sequencing several genes using a single sample (NGS, next generation sequencing), rapidly and concurrently. As a leading researcher in Oncogenetics, Dr. Weitzel will address the challenges and interpretation of multigene panels.

    During the entire morning of Saturday, Monday 12, the Oncogenetics session will host nine speakers to talk about Oncogenetics, Genetic Counseling, Screening, and Hereditary Cancer Predisposition Syndromes. At the end we’ll open for questions and discussion with the audience.

    Besides Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel presentation, the highlights are

    Familial breast cancer with wild-type BRCA: genetic changes related to moderate cancer risk and patients without known mutations. Dr. Banu Arun, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Arun is a leading researcher in familial breast cancer.

    (Brazilian Network of Hereditary Cancer) Rede Brasileira de Câncer Hereditário: Geneticist Patrícia Prolla, MD, PhD, coordinator of the network and professor at the Department of Genetics at UFRGS. Dr. Prolla will give us a lecture on Application of Oncogenetics and the challenge to ensure access to tests via private health insurance companies.

    Li-Fraumeni syndrome: It is estimated that this syndrome affects one out of every five thousand people worldwide, but in Brazil’s south and southeast regions there is one new case for every 330 people. A.C.Camargo Cancer Center has the largest number of patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome globally. Today more than 150 families with this syndrome are followed at ACCamargo Cancer Center. Dr. Maria Nirvana Formiga will talk about Li Fraumeni clinical features and Dr. Daniele Paixão will talk about screening it.

    Ovarian epithelial tumors: Dr. Alexandre André, A.C.Camargo Oncogenetics, will talk about tumor changes vs. germline mutations and the impact on screening and personalized therapy in ovarian carcinoma.

    Familial colorectal cancer: Dr. Benedito Mauro Rossi, surgical oncologist at Hospital Sírio Libanês, will give a lecture on who needs genetic counseling for colorectal cancer.

    Research in hereditary cancer: Dr. Dirce Carraro, researcher at CIPE and director of the Genomics laboratory at A.C .Camargo Cancer Center, will talk about where we stand and the future of hereditary tumor research.