Pediatric cancer diagnosis comes of age at Children's Hospital Los Angeles

IMAGE: This is Michelle, a patient at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles view more 

Credit: Photo courtesy of Michelle’s family

“We thought she had a bug bite,” says Michelle’s mom, “but it turned out to be cancer.” After seeing several doctors, the family was referred to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Because the team of specialists at CHLA had access to a specialized genetic test that they helped develop – called OncoKids – Michelle’s unique cancer was diagnosed and she was enrolled on a clinical trial that specifically targeted her tumor and saved her life.

“OncoKids allows us to identify the precise genomic alteration that causes a tumor so that we can make better diagnoses and can then target that mutation and personalize cancer treatment for children like Michelle,” said Dr. Alexander R. Judkins, Pathologist-in-Chief and Executive Director of the Center for Personalized Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Adult cancer patients have benefited from the use of cancer gene panels – commercially-available tests that can screen for a large number of tumor profiles simultaneously to provide information about prognosis and targeted treatments specific to that tumor. Yet children with cancer have not benefited from these panels since the tests are


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