Italian Precision Medicine in Pediatric Oncology: Moving beyond Actionable Alterations

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep 23;23(19):11236. doi: 10.3390/ijms231911236.


Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid tumor encountered in childhood. Although there has been significant improvement in the outcomes of patients with high-risk disease, the prognosis for patients with metastatic relapse or refractory disease is poor. Hence, the clinical integration of genome sequencing into standard clinical practice is necessary in order to develop personalized therapy for children with relapsed or refractory disease. The PeRsonalizEdMEdicine (PREME) project focuses on the design of innovative therapeutic strategies for patients suffering from relapsed NB. We performed whole exome sequencing (WES) of patient-matched tumor-normal samples to identify genetic variants amenable to precision medicine. Specifically, two patients were studied (First case: a three-year-old male with early relapsed NB; Second case: a 20-year-old male who relapsed 10 years after the first diagnosis of NB). Results were reviewed by a multi-disciplinary molecular tumor board (MTB) and clinical reports were issued to the ordering physician. WES revealed the mutation c.G320C in the CUL4A gene in case 1 and the mutation c.A484G in the PSMC2 gene in case 2. Both patients were treated according to these actionable alterations, with promising results. The effective treatment of NB is one of the main challenges in pediatric oncology. In the era of precision medicine, the need to design new therapeutic strategies for NB is fundamental. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of incorporating clinical WES into pediatric oncology practice.

Keywords: neuroblastoma; pediatric oncology; precision medicine; whole exome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cullin Proteins / genetics
  • Exome Sequencing / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Oncology
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics
  • Neuroblastoma*
  • Precision Medicine* / methods
  • Young Adult


  • CUL4A protein, human
  • Cullin Proteins