Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigators’ Consortium (POETIC)

Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigators’ Consortium (POETIC)

Pediatric hematologic oncologist Tanya Trippett

Pediatric hematologic oncologist Tanya Trippett leads POETIC.

The mission of the Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigators’ Consortium (POETIC) is to promote the early clinical development of promising therapies for the treatment of children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer and related disorders.

Its goals include:

  • Design and conduct early clinical trials with a primary emphasis on rational, biologically based drug development
  • Incorporate biologic correlative studies that facilitate the translation between basic science and clinical research
  • Increase the access of pediatric patients to early clinical trials
  • Identify agents and novel therapeutic strategies that promote and improve quality of life
  • Foster focused evaluation of promising agents and subsequent introduction into established or novel combination regimens in clinical trials

POETIC consists of two areas of programmatic focus arms: the POETIC Early Clinical Trials Program and the POETIC Translational Genomics Program.

POETIC Early Clinical Trials Program

Since POETIC’s inception in 2003, it has provided access to clinical trials for over 350 children. As of October 2017, the achievements of the POETIC clinical trials program include:

  • 14 completed trials, including six first-in-child studies
  • Four studies ongoing
  • 18 collaborating sites
  • 58 publications
  • Collaborations with pharmaceutical companies
  • The first pediatric academic/pharmaceutical alliance
POETIC Translational Genomics Program

Developed in February 2015, the POETIC Translational Genomics Program aims to provide a deep and systematic, multi-layered analysis of the fundamental genetic changes that drive the growth and spread of cancers in children. The program captures patient tumor genomic information that can later be used to inform therapeutic strategies necessary to personalize or tailor therapy to individual pediatric cancers. The goals of the program are listed below.

  1. To exploit cutting edge basic research and technologic approaches to enhance the understanding and augment knowledge of the fundamental biology of pediatric malignancies by:
    • Identification of critical targets and pathways important for tumorigenesis
    • Elucidation of patterns of escape/resistance pathways in recurrent malignancies
    • Generation of clinically important epigenetic profiling from tumor and relevant germline in recurrent malignancies
    • Identification of key epigenetic chromatin-regulating genes that may provide novel therapeutic targets
    • Outlier analysis of patients with:
      • Responsive or resistant tumors
      • Orphan or extremely rare tumors
      • Genetically predisposed tumor syndromes
  2. To develop and validate biological correlative studies that can be used as future biomarkers in clinical trials overcoming the limitation of tissue acquisition
  3. To promote the development of precision therapeutics specific to children with recurrent/refractory malignancies incorporating actionable targets and pathway-driven approaches to tailor therapeutic strategies leading to:
    • Development of targeted therapies based on molecular profile of the tumor
    • Patient stratification to optimize clinical outcome
  4. To augment of the portfolio of agents available for testing in children leading to:
    • Establishment of research relationships incorporating pharmaceutical pipeline initiatives
  5. To establish a viable new drug discovery program that leverages collaboration across sites and partnerships resulting in:
    • Future intellectual property rights
    • Therapeutic opportunities for patients across the POETIC network

POETIC is a network of large academic medical centers — each with a major emphasis on comprehensive cancer care and research. Member institutions of the consortium include: