TARGET: Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments

TARGET applies a comprehensive genomic approach to determine molecular changes that drive childhood cancers. Investigators form a collaborative network to facilitate discovery of molecular targets and translate those findings into the clinic. TARGET is managed by NCI’s Office of Cancer Genomics and Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program.

Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments

News & Publications

Section of stained kidney tissue
December 04, 2015

Wilms tumour is an embryonal tumour of childhood that closely resembles the developing kidney. Genomic changes responsible for the development of the majority of Wilms tumours remain largely unknown. Here we identify recurrent mutations within Wilms tumours that involve the highly conserved...

November 11, 2015

Neuroblastoma is a paediatric malignancy that typically arises in early childhood, and is derived from the developing sympathetic nervous system. Clinical phenotypes range from localized tumours with excellent outcomes to widely metastatic disease in which long-term survival is approximately 40...

Gene expression analyses from Gooskens et. al; TCF21 hypermethylation in genetically quiescent Clear Cell Sarcoma of the Kidney. Oncotarget [Online], 6.18 (0): 15828-15841. Web. 13 Jul. 2015. To see the full figure and learn more, visit the manuscript.
July 13, 2015

Clear Cell Sarcoma of the Kidney (CCSK) is a rare childhood tumor whose molecular pathogenesis remains poorly understood. We analyzed a discovery set of 13 CCSKs for changes in chromosome copy...

A 40x image of a typical neuroblastoma with rosette formation. Image credit: Dr. Maria Tsokos, National Cancer Institute
June 29, 2015

The majority of patients with neuroblastoma have tumors that initially respond to chemotherapy, but a large proportion will experience therapy-resistant relapses. The molecular basis of this aggressive phenotype is unknown. Whole-genome sequencing of 23 paired diagnostic and relapse...

Robert J. Arceci, M.D., Ph.D. (Photograph courtesy of Phoenix Children’s Hospital)
June 22, 2015

It is with great sadness and a profound sense of loss that OCG recognizes the untimely passing of Dr. Robert J. Arceci. Dr. Arceci was a co-Principal Investigator for the Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) project within the TARGET...



Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of white blood cells, the cells in the body that normally fight infection.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer that originates in the bone marrow from immature white blood cells known as myeloblasts. About 25% of all children with leukemia have AML. 

Kidney Tumors

Pediatric kidney tumors fall into four primary categories: Wilms tumors (~85% of all cases), clear cell sarcomas of the kidney (~5%), congenital mesoblastic nephromas (~4%), and rhabdoid tumors of the kidney (~3%). The TARGET initiative is investigating three of these tumor types.


Neuroblastoma (NBL) is a cancer that arises in immature nerve cells of the sympathetic nervous system, primarily affecting infants and children.


Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common type of bone cancer in children and adolescents.

Last updated: July 13, 2015