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April 3, 2016 – Dr. Peter Adamson – Project: EveryChild

Peter C. Adamson, M.D.

Dr. Peter Adamson is Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a National Cancer Institute (NCI) supported international consortium of more than 220 childhood centers that conducts clinical-translational research, including large-scale clinical trials, in children with cancer.  He is Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania and he holds the Alan R. Cohen Endowed Chair in Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).  Dr. Adamson is Board Certified in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and in Clinical Pharmacology. He currently serves on the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) and is an internationally recognized leader in pediatric cancer drug development.

Prior to becoming Chair of the COG in 2011, Dr. Adamson served as Director for Clinical and Translational Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as Chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.  Other key roles that he has held include co-Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s – CHOP Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA), Program Director of the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) and Principal Investigator of CHOP’s Pediatric Pharmacology Research Unit (PPRU).  His laboratory research focuses on the clinical pharmacology of new drugs for 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 cure.

As the COG continues to conduct a broad range of clinical-translational research for children with cancer, we have launched a five-year initiative that will become the fundamental platform for discovery and allow us 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 discovery and cure for all childhood cancers.

Project:EveryChild is centered on a single research study that aims to capture the biology and outcome of every child diagnosed with cancer in the United States and COG’s affiliated countries. Participation is 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 are also offered the opportunity to enroll on a COG therapeutic study, such enrollment is not a requirement. Biospecimens, including tumor tissue, host and when feasible parental DNA, are stored at COG’s state-of–the-art biobank in Columbus, OH.

The Project:EveryChild protocol replaces and encompasses the currently open biology protocols, but will capture the full diversity of childhood cancers.

Funding to launch this program is directed towards enrollment, biospecimen acquisition, data capture, and biobanking. Approximately 70% of funds will be for payment to COG sites to offset the costs associated with well-trained coordinator(s) overseeing biospecimen collection and handling. Approximately 30% of funds will be directed towards biospecimen shipping, storage, supplies, and informatics and data management.