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TARGET - TARGET Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

TARGET Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Program Description


The TARGET Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia projects uses comprehensive molecular characterization to determine the genetic changes that drive the initiation and progression of hard-to-treat childhood cancers. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of white blood cells, the cells in the body that normally fight infection.

The TARGET ALL Pilot project (TARGET ALL Phase I) produced comprehensive genomic profiles of nearly 200 high-risk, clinically annotated, B-cell ALL patient cases from Children’s Oncology Group (COG) for molecular alterations. Each fully characterized TARGET ALL case includes data from primary tumor sample collected at diagnosis and case-matched tissue sample extracted at the time of remission. Additional cases with partial molecular characterization and/or sequencing data are available to the research community.

In the TARGET ALL expansion effort (TARGET ALL Phase II), TARGET investigators analyzed tumors from pediatric patients, most who experienced an early bone marrow relapse (within 4 years of initial diagnosis), to identify new therapeutic approaches and/or biomarkers that correlate with poor clinical outcome to treat childhood pre-cursor B-cell ALL. The TARGET ALL Phase II project has produced comprehensive genomic profiles of nearly 200 relapse-enriched, clinically annotated patient cases in the discovery dataset. This cohort includes more than 100 patients with adequate relapse specimens to study as trios (primary tumor collected at diagnosis, case-matched sample collected at remission, and relapse samples when available). Each fully-characterized TARGET ALL case includes data from nucleic acid samples extracted from peripheral blood or bone marrow tissues

The ALL project team members (like other TARGET researchers) have generated data in two phases: Discovery and Validation. Visit the TARGET Research page to learn more.

The latest TARGET ALL study (TARGET ALL Phase III) focused on acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage (ALAL). Leukemia is a cancer of blood cells and can arise within distinct lineages, either lymphoid or myeloid. On occasion, patients present with an acute leukemia for which a specific lineage cannot be clearly determined. These cases are classified as acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage (ALAL), and they account for less than 4% of all acute leukemias across age groups.

TARGET investigators at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital led an effort to better understand acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage (ALAL), and the TARGET initiative contributed to this key study by generating whole genomic sequencing (WGS) and some transcriptome (mRNA-seq and miRNA-seq) profiles of ~50 ALAL cases in the TARGET ALL Phase III effort.