POSTPONED Childhood Cancers: The path to precision medicine





Course Description & Assignments
Pediatric cancers are the leading cause of disease related death in childhood. Children that do survive are frequently left with devastating and life-long morbidity from the treatments required to cure them. The last two decades have shed tremendous insights into the drivers of these cancers, providing optimism that precision medicine approaches may lead to more effective treatments. 

In this course, we will review the genetic drivers of childhood cancers and the mechanisms through which they drive tumor formation, in the context of normal childhood development. We will review the principles that underlie the design of clinical assays that can be used to profile tumors and the path through which translational discoveries can be evaluated in clinical trials. The course will provide an overview of current childhood cancer treatment strategies and their associated long-term effects. Finally, we will host a family who have faced the diagnosis of a cancer in their child, to learn from the patient's perspective.

Sessions will include review of literature and datasets, group discussions and ‘hands on’ assignments designed to reinforce the key concepts from each session.

For detailed information about the sessions - see attached file (2022 Nanocourse - Childhood Cancers).

Course Objectives

  1. Understand the differences in biology between pediatric and adult cancers, including the interplay with development
  2. Identify the unique translational and clinical trial development challenges associated with targeted therapies for childhood cancers
  3. Demonstrate the principals behind sequencing and trial design for precision medicine against childhood cancers
  4. Recognize the individual, familial, and societal late effects of childhood cancer survivorship

Enrollment limit
This cours is limited to 20 participants

Session dates & times
Session One - Wednesday January 12, 9-11am
Session Two - Wednesday January 19, 9-11am
Session Three - Wednesday January 26, 9-11am

TMEC 306 (all three sessions), the course will take place in person*

Course Directors 
Pratiti (Mimi) Bandopadhayay, MBBS PhD
Tab Cooney, MD

Curriculum Fellow
Jelena Patrnogić, PhD

*Physical Distancing
The HMS policy for in-person courses is that vaccinated individuals need not maintain any physical distancing, but that masks are required for indoor activities. Students who are not comfortable with this arrangement are asked to approach the course director or a member of the instructional staff before the first class meeting to discuss alternate arrangements. Reasons not to be comfortable may include not being vaccinated, having a medical issue that makes one more vulnerable, or being in close contact with an immunocompromised individual.


2022 Nanocourse - Childhood Cancers: The Path to Precision Medicine87 KB