Stephen Hunger Research Program

The research program of Stephen P. Hunger, MD, is focused on using molecular and genomic approaches to identify and clinically evaluate targeted cancer treatments for children with relapsed or high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) such as Philadelphia chromosome-like (Ph-Like) ALL. The long-term goal of Dr. Hunger’s research is to develop better therapies, improve cure rates and minimize treatment toxicities for children with ALL.

Dr. Hunger leads the National Cancer Institute/Children’s Oncology Group High Risk ALL TARGET (Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments) which has used next generation sequencing technologies of the exome, genome and transcriptome to identify genetic mutations and chromosomal perturbations that contribute to the development of pediatric ALL and high risk subtypes of the disease.  The results of these analyses have demonstrated that relapsed or certain high risk pediatric ALL subtypes have genomic lesions that should make them sensitive to precision medicine therapies using FDA approved targeted cancer therapies.

Ongoing research seeks to improve risk stratification of children with ALL and to identify new treatments or refine existing ones for high risk pediatric ALL patients.