Cancer in children is rare with approximately 15,700 new cases diagnosed in the United States annually. Through use of multimodality therapy (surgery, radiation therapy, and aggressive chemotherapy), 70% of patients will be “cured” of their disease, and 5-year event-free survival exceeds 80%. However, for patients surviving their malignancy, therapyrelated long-term adverse effects are severe, with an estimated 50% having chronic life-threatening toxicities related to therapy in their fourth or fifth decade of life. While overall intensive therapy with cytotoxic agents continues to reduce cancer-related mortality, new understanding of the molecular etiology of many childhood cancers offers an opportunity to redirect efforts to develop effective, less genotoxic therapeutic options, including agents that target oncogenic drivers directly, and the potential for use of agents that target the tumor microenvironment and immune-directed therapies. However, for many highrisk cancers, significant challenges remain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine