Pediatric Translational Medicine Program (PTMP)

Pediatric Translational Medicine Program (PTMP)

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What is the PTMP at MSK Kids?

The Pediatric Translational Medicine Program (PTMP) unites experts and technologies to find new and better ways to diagnose and treat all types of pediatric cancer.

The PTMP is a collaborative effort across MSK departments including pediatrics, pathology, and clinical genetics. In addition to our experts providing the most advanced care to MSK’s youngest patients today, the PTMP also looks to tomorrow — spearheading research that will lead to lifesaving treatments.

How the PTMP Helps Our Patients

Every child we care for at MSK Kids can receive comprehensive genetic testing of their disease. This means we can analyze the DNA from a sample of your child’s disease and look for mutations that may have led to its development. We can then design treatment plans based on those results, and in certain cases offer targeted therapies. Thanks to work done at MSK, this has become a routine part of how we evaluate a child’s disease, and our collection of new treatment options is always growing.

Getting to the Root of Pediatric Cancers
MSK Kids is leading a major effort to fully deliver on the promise of precision medicine for our youngest patients.
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The Right Diagnosis. The Right Treatment.

We have a number of options that help us better understand specific types of cancer. One of the approaches involves looking at tumor samples using a technology invented at MSK called MSK-IMPACT™, which stands for integrated mutation profiling of actionable cancer targets. The test can find any of the hundreds of genetic mutations known to lead to cancer and can quickly highlight whether a tumor has changes that make it vulnerable to certain drugs. It is available to every one of our pediatric patients, and results are immediately used to make sure each child gets the right treatment for them.   

Clinical Genetics and Cancer Predisposition

Did you know that the mutations in genes that make someone more likely to develop cancer are relatively common?

An important part of the PTMP is our clinical genetics team, who helps determine whether hereditary genes might play a role in the type of cancer a child has. They also help identify people who might be at a risk to develop cancer, so that we can be sure of what to look out for and you can make better informed decisions about prevention and treatment. Genetic counselors meet with family members to talk about their risk level. They can also perform genetic testing to obtain more information about any mutations family members may or may not have.

More Treatments for More Children

We are committed to finding the best possible treatment for your child. We are also committed to bringing children new cancer treatments through clinical trials. Because certain abnormalities develop in both kids and adults, we’ve been able to use our knowledge to find overlaps in how diseases respond to treatments. This means that we can offer more clinical trials to children at MSK Kids. Our research on molecular abnormalities has also shown us that some medicines can be used across different cancers. When we partner with other doctors at MSK, we ensure that we are giving children as many options for treatment as possible.

And with the growing number of clinical trials, we’re doing all we can to shorten the gap between approval for adult treatments and that for kids. We’re dedicated to bringing better treatment options to young patients as soon as they’re available, and the research in the PTMP supports that.

The Importance of Research

One of the most important aspects of the PTMP is its direct link to MSK’s researchers. Learning as much as we can from our colleagues in research helps us bring their findings to children as quickly as possible. This allows us to discover new treatments for every young person who walks through our doors, while setting the standard for the wider medical community’s approach to cancer care.

Andrew Kung
Andrew Kung is a physician-scientist and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial Sloan Kettering. His clinical expertise is in cancer genomics, precision medicine, and stem cell transplantation.
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