Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New interdisciplinary collaborative research project on the long-term effects of cancer treatment

27.10.2015

Mainz University Medical Center coordinates new research project / Findings will be used to improve cancer therapy / German government provides approximately EUR 3.8 million in financing

Some individuals experience cancer recurrence when they enter adolescence or adulthood after they have been successfully treated for cancer in childhood while others don't. But why is this? This is the core question being considered in a research project directed by the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building, and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) are funding the project with a total of around EUR 3.8 million through the Basic Energy Research 2020+ funding program. The purpose of research in this area is to help identify in future those patients who may have a particular individual susceptibility to radiation so that the treatment they receive can be modified accordingly.

The joint research project on "Intrinsic radiotherapy: the identification of biological and epidemiological long-term effects" (ISIBELa) is being coordinated by the Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics (IMBEI) at the Mainz University Medical Center in close cooperation with the on-site Department of Radiation Oncology and Radiation Therapy.

Further involved in the collaborative research project ISIBELa are the German Childhood Cancer Registry, the Institute of Molecular Genetics, Genetic Security Research, and Consulting (IMSB) at Mainz University, the Molecular Epidemiology Unit of the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS GmbH, and the Biological Radiation research team at TU Darmstadt.

The ISIBELa joint research project is to determine the risk of secondary cancer in later life following successful therapy in childhood. Approximately five to ten percent of all former patients subsequently redevelop cancer. "One of the core aspects we are considering within ISIBELa is whether the cells of various individuals react differently to the ionizing radiation from radiotherapy," explained the IMBEI Director and Coordinator of the research cooperative, Professor Maria Blettner.

Questions of this complexity can today only be resolved by research groups in which there is interdisciplinary collaboration between those involved in fundamental research and clinicians with various specializations. Hence, the work being undertaken by physicians, biologists, epidemiologists, and mathematicians is closely meshed within the ISIBELa project.

In the first part of this multi-phase project, the researchers will initially identify and statistically analyze all cases with secondary cancer after childhood cancer in Germany. During the further course of the project, they will examine how patients with or without secondary cancer differ with regard to various factors, such as the type of primary disease and the treatment received.

Patients will be asked to provide a tissue sample. The tissue samples are examined for evidence of possible genetic and epigenetic causes of cancer using state-of-the-art laboratory techniques. For example, the Institute of Molecular Genetics of JGU is employing the latest methods of high-throughput genome and transcriptome sequencing to look for differences between the patient groups.

"Thanks to the progress made in treatment in recent years, the prognosis for recovery from many types of cancer has significantly improved. We now consider it feasible that we will be able to provide cancer patients with the same life expectancy as healthy persons of the same age. Hence, greater emphasis is being placed on late adverse effects. And this is exactly the area being considered by the new collaborative research project ISIBELa. Our expected results should hopefully enable us to develop methods with which we can fairly reliably identify, before treatment, which patients are particularly susceptible to radiation so that that we can optimize their therapy accordingly," stated Professor Heinz Schmidberger, Director of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Radiation Therapy at the Mainz University Medical Center, Professor Thomas Hankel of the Institute of Molecular Genetics at the Mainz University Medical Center, and Dr. Manuela Marron, epidemiologist and study coordinator at BIPS, representing all involved researchers.

It is mainly attributable to the significant improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer that the probability of survival of, for example, leukemia patients today is now 80 percent compared to just two percent in the 1960s. Radiotherapy was developed as a major means of treating cancer in the 1970s and still remains one of the cornerstones of cancer treatment. In radiotherapy, targeted ionizing radiation is used to eliminate tumor cells.

The ISIBELa collaborative research project is part of the University Center for Tumor Diseases (UCT) at the Mainz University Medical Center. The individualization of cancer therapy is one of the research goals of the UCT. The translational research on long-term effects of treatment should also enhance the international reputation of the UCT. It is to be hoped that collaboration between ISIBELa and UCT will soon lead to the development of less aggressive forms of treatment.

Press Contact:
Oliver Kreft, Press and Public Relations, Mainz University Medical Center, Langenbeckstr. 1, 55131 Mainz, phone: +49 6131 17-7424, fax: +49 6131 17-3496, e-mail: pr@unimedizin-mainz.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.unimedizin-mainz.de/uct/startseite/uebersicht.html - University Center for Tumor Diseases (in German) ;
http://www.unimedizin-mainz.de/home.html?L=1 - Mainz University Medical Center

Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht New dental implant with built-in reservoir reduces risk of infections
18.01.2017 | KU Leuven

nachricht Many muons: Imaging the underground with help from the cosmos
19.12.2016 | DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Arctic melt ponds form when meltwater clogs ice pores

24.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Synthetic nanoparticles achieve the complexity of protein molecules

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

PPPL physicist uncovers clues to mechanism behind magnetic reconnection

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>