Curing Kids Cancer Through Collaboration


The Nicholas Conor Institute TACTiC Translation Initiatives

    ❖    Molecular Diagnostics:
Gene expression diagnostics tools for accurate identification, sub-typing and prognosis. Cancers targeted initially are rhabdomyosarcoma, lymphoma, Ewing’s Sarcoma, and neuroblastoma. Additional cancer types will be added in later stages of development.
    ❖    Evidence-Based Medicine:
1. Direct sequencing of genes known to be activated in cancer and have an existing targeted drug that is either FDA-approved, enrolled in Phase II & III clinical trials, or subjected to the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program. Potential  drug candidates will be test on the patient’s tumor cells for responsiveness.
2. Treatment guidance platform for cancers refractory to current “standards of care”. The platforms will identify the molecular biology driving the patient’s cancer and guide physicians to the most germane and effective treatment specific to that patient.
    ❖    Target Identification:
Whole exome sequencing of matched tumor/normal samples to identify drug targets for rare childhood, adolescent and yound adults caners.
    ❖    Pediatric Cancer Commons:
A web-based open-science community; therapy decision support tool. Molecular disease models developed by The Nicholas Conor Instiute will inform physicians, patients, and scientists of the most recent scientific developments, availability of  diagnostic tools and ongoing clinical trials.
       "We have traditionally treated children, adolescents and young adults with cancer on cooperative-group protocols which has contributed significantly to improved outcomes during the latter part of the 20th century. However, this approach has not taken into consideration individual characteristics of the patient's tumor nor equally importantly, of the child's ability to tolerate the various chemotherapeutic agents, radiotherapy and immunotherapy prescribed.
         We are moving forward in the 21st century with an increasing ability to understand the signalling pathways involved in tumorigenesis as well as each patient's unique ability to metabolize and tolerate treatments.
         I feel strongly that a more personalized approach to diagnosis, prognosis, risk stratification and treatment planning as well as long term follow-up for late effects will ultimately result in significantly improved outcomes and decreased toxicity. The Nicholas Conor Institute is committed to this more personalized approach to the management of childhood cancer."

-Jennifer Willert, MD
Division of Hematology/Oncology
& Bone Marrow Transplant,
Director of Pediatric Palliative
  & Supportive Care Program
Rady Children’s Hospital , San Diego

3525 Del Mar Heights Road, #946
•San Diego, California 92130
(858) 945-0552