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PRESS RELEASE: Landmark Childhood Cancer Genomics Data Released, Funded by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation in Partnership with the NCI Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium

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Landmark Childhood Cancer Genomics Data Released, Funded by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation in Partnership with the NCI Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium

Nearly 300 fully characterized childhood cancer tumor models and data now available to worldwide scientific community, accelerating the pace of cures.

Philadelphia, PA (July 9, 2018) – Today, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) and the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium (PPTC) announce the release of genomic data for over 270 childhood cancer preclinical models to the childhood cancer research community. All data is available for free starting July 9, 2018. The PPTC is funded by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, to produce reliable, preclinical in vivo data using pediatric cancer tumor models.

All academically qualified petitioners can access the data through the PedcBioPortal for Childhood Cancer Genomics (pedcBio portal). Raw characterization data will be available on the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) in the coming months. Tissue samples will be available by request.

The project was initiated when ALSF learned that the PPTC tests novel compounds each year against pediatric cancer tumor models to measure their effectiveness as treatments, but that these models lacked adequate molecular profiling. Comprehensive genomic characterization of the models is needed to most effectively interpret the clinical significance of the testing results. The partnership between ALSF and the PPTC enabled the creation of over 270 fully characterized, quality childhood cancer tumor models across 25 unique childhood cancer types. The genomic sequencing was done at the Baylor Genome Sequencing Center in Houston, TX under the direction of Dr. David Wheeler.

“This is momentous because the deep genetic profiling enabled as a result of ALSF’s funding contribution to the PPTC overcomes some major problems we have when treating childhood cancer. The data allows us to treat a genetic target, rather than the disease name,” said Dr. John Maris, MD, of ALSF’s Scientific Advisory Board and participating member in the PPTC focused on neuroblastoma. “These data will help us design effective and successful clinical trials, much more rapidly than ever before, accelerating breakthroughs and pushing us closer to cures."

The release of over 270 fully characterized tumor samples will allow researchers and labs to skip years of preclinical research and move toward more successful, precise clinical trials, while avoiding wasteful and harmful outcomes. Genetic targets are tested more efficiently and give confidence to the research before testing in human clinical trials.

“ALSF has a legacy of filling critical research gaps in the childhood cancer community,” said Liz Scott, Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. “Funding the PPTC’s genomics project will spark long-lasting impact, collaborative efforts and ultimately advance the pace of finding cures for all kids with cancer.”

For more information about Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, ALSF’s various grant categories and successes, visit AlexsLemonade.org.