A line of research proposing urine and blood analysis for early diagnosis and monitoring of treatment response in Wilms’ tumor is one of the most-awaited topics of the Pediatric Tumor Panel

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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