Cancer is the leading cause of death in American children older than 1 year of age. Major developments in drugs such as thiopurines and optimization in clinical trial protocols for treating cancer in children have led to a remarkable improvement in survival, from approximately 30% in the 1960s to more than 80% today. Short-term and long-term adverse effects of chemotherapy still affect most survivors of childhood cancer. Pharmacogenetics plays a major role in predicting the safety of cancer chemotherapy and, in the future, its effectiveness. Treatment failure in childhood cancer-due to either serious adverse effects that limit therapy or the failure of conventional dosing to induce remission-warrants development of new strategies for treatment. Here, we summarize the current knowledge of the pharmacogenomics of cancer drug treatment in children and of statistically and clinically relevant drug-gene associations and the mechanistic understandings that underscore their therapeutic value in the treatment of childhood cancer. Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 61 is January 7, 2021. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

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