Exploring high-risk neuroblastoma by sequencing technology
Dr. Lars O. Baumbusch and Prof. Klaus Beiske
Next generation sequencing will be the basis for personalized cancer medicine in the near future, in particular for heterogenic diseases with multi-modal therapy applications. Neuroblastoma (NB) comprises a group of extremely heterogenic tumors, making the disease to one of the major challenges in pediatric oncology. Disseminated tumor cells in the bone marrow and circulating tumor cells in the peripheral blood are predictive and prognostic indicators of poor prognosis in children with high-risk NB. Molecular profiling these cells by next generation sequencing may provide means about the clonal evolution of the tumor. Several studies provide evidence that non-coding RNAs play an important role in the development and progression of NB. Integrative analyses of copy number alterations and corresponding changes in expression by RNA sequencing will offer new insights to the regulatory features of NB. Circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) has been introduced as novel non-invasive monitoring tool. We wish to sequence cfDNAs to gain supplementary information about tumor burden, mutation characterization, and therapy resistance in NB. We are convinced that comparative analysis of the primary tumor and in relation to residual tissue, micrometastases, and cfDNA reveals a promising strategy to unveil novel insight about the heterogeneity, tumor evolution and biology of NB - improving the therapy prospects for children fighting NB.