About the Children’s Oncology Group
The Children’s Oncology Group (COG) is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research. The COG unites more than 9,000 experts in childhood cancer at more than 220 leading children’s hospitals, universities, and cancer centers across North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe in the fight against childhood cancer. Today, more than 90% of the 14,000 children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States are cared for at COG member institutions. The COG research has turned childhood cancer from a virtually incurable disease 50 years ago to one with a combined 5-year survival rate of 80% today. COG's goal is to cure all children and adolescents with cancer, reduce the short and long-term complications of cancer treatments, and determine the causes to find ways to prevent childhood cancer.
There are approximately 14,000 new cases of childhood cancer each year in the United States. The most common cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, occurs in approximately 3,500 children each year in the US. The incidence of many childhood cancers, however, is less than 1,000 cases/year, and a number occur in less than 100 children/year. Yet, for a family with a child diagnosed with cancer, it makes no difference whether the cancer is common or rare – their child deserves the best chance at a cure.
As the COG continues to conduct a broad range of clinical-translational research for children with cancer, the COG is launching a five-year initiative that will become the fundamental platform for discovery and will allow its researchers to determine the molecular basis of every childhood cancer. The keys to discovery will be to study cancer in the laboratory using a combination of the most appropriate -omic methodologies (e.g. genomics, proteomics, metabolomics), and to link findings to informative clinical data from each child. As the costs associated with the primary laboratory approach (genomics) have fallen precipitously – from $100,000,000 for sequencing the first whole human genome in 2001 to costs approaching $1,000/genome today – it will be the linkage to clinical data that will forge the pathway to a discovery and cure for all childhood cancers.
Project: EveryChild will be centered on a single research study that will capture the biology and outcome of every child with cancer cared for in a COG program (more than 220 programs internationally). Participation will be offered to every child diagnosed with cancer, no matter how common or rare the cancer may be. Key clinical data on disease presentation, therapeutic approach and outcome will leverage the COG infrastructure. Although many children will also be offered the opportunity to enroll on a COG therapeutic study, such enrollment will not be a requirement. Biospecimens, including tumor tissue, host and when feasible, parental DNA will be stored at COG’s state-of–the-art biorepository located at The Research Institute of Nationwide Children's Hospital (the largest pediatric cancer biospecimen bank in the nation).
Click here to learn more about the COG's Project: EveryChild.