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Ten Children’s Hospitals Using Genomic Medicine to Change Pediatric Care Through Consortium for Innovation

Nov 06, 2019 02:24PM ● By MED Magazine

Three more hospitals have signed on to rapidly integrate genetics and genomics into primary and specialty pediatric care through an innovative consortium with Sanford Health.

The new hospitals are Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Palo Alto, California; Seattle Children’s Hospital; and American Family Children’s Hospital, UW Health, in Madison, Wisconsin. That brings the total number in the consortium to 10.

The mission of the Sanford Children’s Genomic Medicine Consortium is to efficiently manage resources in genetics and genomics, perform cutting-edge research and education and bring genomic medicine into pediatric practice. This will help set the standard for precision medicine in children’s health care.

The other member hospitals include Sanford Children’s (Sioux Falls and Fargo), Children’s Minnesota (Minneapolis and St. Paul), Children’s Hospital Colorado (Aurora), Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine and Rady Children’s Hospital - San Diego, Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center (Tucson) and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (Miami).

Previous innovation projects funded by the consortium include a study of the outcomes of rapid whole genomic sequencing in critically ill newborn infants, and a study evaluating the routine use of an extensive, pediatric-focused, next generation sequencing panel in the diagnosis of childhood cancers.

Genetic diseases are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in infants in Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units (NICU, PICU). These children often undergo an extensive and expensive diagnostic process that may not lead to a final diagnosis.

Stephen Kingsmore, M.D., D.Sc., president and CEO of Rady Children’s Institute of Genomic Medicine (RCIGM) is leading rapid whole genomic sequencing in critically ill newborn infants to determine the complete DNA sequence of a child’s genome at one time to identify the risk of genetic diseases. Currently, the average turnaround time for sequencing to diagnosis by the RCIGM team is under a week. That is significantly faster than the common timetable for this type of work, which can take weeks to complete. “The future of pediatric medicine is being transformed by the ability to rapidly decode the genomes of the most fragile newborns to deliver exact diagnoses and targeted treatment,” Kingsmore said.

Pediatric cancers have different genetic origins compared with adult cancers. Current panels for detecting the genetic origins of a tumor primarily focus on adult cancers. OncoKids® developed at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, is specifically formulated to detect the genomic alterations of pediatric cancers including leukemias, lymphomas, bone, soft tissue and brain tumors. “The ability to identify the precise underlying genomic alterations in individual tumors with OncoKids® allows us to personalize care and innovate how we treat children with cancer,” said Alexander R. Judkins, M.D., Pathologist-in-Chief and Executive Director of the Center for Personalized Medicine (CPM) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Extending precision medicine to children’s health through this consortium is inspired by the vision of Denny Sanford.

“We are thrilled to welcome these three additional premier children’s hospitals to the Sanford Children’s Genomic Medicine Consortium. I am thankful to each member for their strong support of the spirit of working together to more precisely care for each child using the cutting edge tools of genetics and genomics,” said Gene Hoyme, M.D., Medical Director, Sanford Children’s Genomic Medicine Consortium. “So much can be gained for the care of all children through the collaboration of these hospitals.”

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