AACR highlights and honors St. Jude research from the laboratory to the clinic

Pediatric cancer survivorship research and more from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be featured at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research

Memphis, Tennessee, March 29, 2019

AACR

©2017 AACR/Todd Buchanan

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will receive the American Association for Cancer Research 2019 Team Science Award on Sunday, March 31, in Atlanta during the opening ceremony of the organization’s annual meeting. The hospital is being recognized for research that is transforming the lives of childhood cancer survivors.

St. Jude research on a variety of topics related to survivorship, clinical genomics, deep sequencing, disease models and the biology of pediatric cancers will be discussed at the meeting March 29—April 3. The list includes identification of a genetic variation associated with stroke risk in childhood cancer survivors treated with cranial radiation.

The meeting also marks a milestone for St. Jude Cloud, an interactive, online data-sharing platform that was launched at the 2018 AACR annual meeting. St. Jude Cloud now includes sequenced whole genomes from 10,000 pediatric patients, survivors and others. That is double the number of whole-genome sequences available when the platform was premiered.

The data was generated from St. Jude-supported genome initiatives launched to better understand the genetic origins of pediatric cancer, move the technology into the clinic and gain insight into pediatric cancer survivors. St. Jude Cloud was developed as a partnership of St. Jude, DNAnexus and Microsoft. The platform features a collection of bioinformatics tools to help experts and non-specialists get the most from the data. To learn more about St. Jude Cloud or see a demonstration, visit booth 4136 during the meeting.

As recipient of the 13th AACR Team Science Award, the St. Jude cancer survivorship research team is recognized for its innovative, multidisciplinary research. This work has yielded more effective strategies to prevent or reduce complications related to pediatric cancer treatment and to improve the quality of life for survivors. The award comes as the number of childhood cancer survivors continues to grow. Today, 84 percent of young cancer patients will become long-term survivors. The U.S. is now home to almost 500,000 childhood cancer survivors.

“While survival rates for many childhood cancers have steadily improved over the last four decades, we recognize that long-term side effects of treatment remain a critical burden for many survivors,” said James R. Downing, M.D., president and chief executive officer of St. Jude. “Our cancer survivorship team has made it their goal to conduct the necessary research and then translate their findings into strategies to avert or mitigate treatment-related complications and help patients live their best lives.”

The St. Jude survivorship team is led by Melissa Hudson, M.D., director of the Division of Cancer Survivorship, and Leslie Robison, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control. The group includes representatives of seven clinical and research departments. The St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study (SJLIFE) and the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study have both played pivotal roles in advancing our understanding and care of pediatric cancer survivors. Both studies are directed by St. Jude researchers and are headquartered at St. Jude.

St. Jude faculty will participate in educational forms and symposia offering the more than 23,000 meeting participants updates on a wide range of topics and diseases. St. Jude research will also be featured at poster sessions throughout the week.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.