Dr. Andrew Hong, Young Investigator: Wilms Tumor

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Project: Genomic drivers of 1q amplification in Wilms Tumor

Sole Benefactor: Genentech

For many types of cancer, doctors identify the stage of the disease when a child is diagnosed. Staging is a critical step for determining how to treat a child. More advanced stages often necessitate more aggressive treatment, and identifying the cancer’s stage helps doctors determine what kind of treatment a child will need.

Wilms tumor is a type of kidney cancer that occurs in children. Survival rates for Wilms tumor have increased dramatically over the past few decades, and now about 90% of children will survive at least five years. Recently, a sub-type of Wilms tumor called 1q has been identified that is responsible for poorer outcomes in children. Researchers have attempted to map the genetic structure of this sub-type in order to develop targeted treatments that will improve outcomes for this higher-risk group.

Andrew Hong
  • Andrew Lee Hong, MD
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Andrew Hong, MD, recently received a grant from CureSearch for his work on the tumor cell lines responsible for the 1q amplification sub-type, in order to determine next steps for treatment. Dr. Hong plans to map the “region” of the gene involved in 1q amplification.

Genetic codes are like maps for understanding how diseases progresses. Dr. Hong hopes to discover the portion of the map that will give insight into the 1q sub-type of Wilms tumor, in order to better target it. Since there are currently limited cell tumor lines for Wilms tumor, his team will work with the Broad Institute and through the support of the CureSearch grant, will map Wilms tumor cell lines in order to study the disease. The Broad Institute uses special machines that translate genetic code to map these lines. Finally, Dr. Hong will use this genetic information to determine compound sensitivity and potential genetic vulnerabilities. This information will allow the team to run a screen for potential drugs that can target Wilms tumor. If this work is successful, it could lead to new therapeutic options for this higher-risk Wilms tumor sub-type.

Special Thanks to Our Research Partner

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