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Baylor Starts Pediatric Sequencing Center

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Baylor College of Medicine has launched a new center focused on pediatric clinical cancer genomics through a partnership between the Texas Children's Cancer Center and BCM's Human Genome Sequencing Center.

The new Pediatric Center for Personal Genomics and Therapeutics will seek to eventually sequence all new cases of children's cancer in the state, affecting 1,000 children per year, through collaborations with other Texas academic centers.

The center will sequence and analyze tumor samples from patients at Texas Children's Cancer Center and use tumor banking resources from the Texas Cancer Research Biobank, Baylor said this week.

The center will focus its initial efforts on three projects. The Pediatric Cancer Sequencing Project will sequence tumor and blood samples from children with cancer. Through a functional genomics project, researchers will analyze the effects of mutations on tumor biology and develop tumor models for testing new therapies. Another project will focus on clinical cancer genomics and therapeutics and will incorporate genomic information into routine clinical care of cancer patients.

"We aim to translate the research advances gained from these sequencing studies into clinically useful diagnostic tests and innovative therapies that will improve outcomes for all children with cancer," Will Parsons, the center's director, BCM professor, and a pediatric oncologist at Texas Children's Cancer Center, said in a statement.

"Our objective is to deliver the optimal therapy for each patient based on the unique genetic characteristics of both the child and their tumor," added David Poplack, director of the Texas Children's Cancer Center and a professor at BCM.

The Texas Children's Cancer Center is a joint program of BCM and Texas Children's Hospital and the pediatric program of the National Cancer Institute-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at BCM.

Baylor said that studies already begun at the new pediatric genomics center have contributed to pediatric and adult cancer research.

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