Is it possible to predict the likelihood of subsequent complications following cancer treatment on the basis of genetic tests? This is the main question to be addressed by an EU-wide research project that is being coordinated by the German Childhood Cancer Registry at the Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics (IMBEI) of the Mainz University Medical Center.
The project will focus on late effects of the childhood tumor therapy, such as fertility problems and hearing loss. In addition, the researchers aim to determine the overall effect of these complications on the health-related quality of life of former patients. The European Union will be providing funding of some EUR 6 million to support the research project entitled PanCareLIFE.
The prognosis for survival of patients who develop cancer as children has significantly improved in the last decades. Depending on the diagnosis, some 80 percent of those afflicted now experience remission. However, the improvement in the rate of long-term survival has also resulted in an increase of the rate of those likely to suffer late complications. These complications can take various forms, such as damage to organs (e.g., heart, kidneys, ear), impairment of the quality of life (due to growth problems, physical disabilities, intellectual impairment, or difficulty with social integration), and an increased risk of second cancer.
Researchers from eight European countries, i.e., the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, will be participating in the PanCareLIFE project. The data from a total of about 12,000 former patients from all participating countries will be analyzed. The researchers involved hope to be able to use this data to identify genetic and non-genetic risk factors that may be associated with fertility problems and deafness. They thus intend to study genetic material in order to determine which genetic variants may be associated with the above-mentioned complications. The data collected during the PanCareLIFE project will be collated centrally at the German Childhood Cancer Registry of IMBEI at the Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).
"It is a great honor for us that we here in Mainz at IMBEI have been assigned the coordination of this project and the responsibilities for collation of this valuable European data and the main statistical analysis," said PD Dr. Peter Kaatsch, Project Coordinator and Head of the German Childhood Cancer Registry. Professor Maria Blettner, Director of IMBEI, added: "The fact that we have improved the rate of long-term cancer survival is a great achievement. At the same time, this necessarily means that we need to focus on the possible late complications. PanCareLIFE can make a significant contribution here to the improvement of the long-term quality of life of survivors."
The Chief Scientific Officer of the Mainz University Medical Center, Professor Ulrich Förstermann, emphasized that this project again demonstrates the significance assigned to epidemiological research at Mainz. "The University Medical Center with all its institutions is a key player in analyzing the emergence of diseases with their temporal and regional variations in a population, in exploring their development mechanisms, finding causes, preventing late complications, and initiating the corresponding preventative measures."
The German Childhood Cancer Registry has documented all cases of cancer occurring in children and adolescents in Germany since 1980. Some 50,000 cases have been recorded to date and more than 30,000 former patients are in long-term follow-up. The German Childhood Cancer Registry has been asked to act as coordinator for PanCareLIFE, a multinational research project initiated by the European Commission, due to its extensive experience with childhood cancer registration, familiarity with research into the causes and late complications of childhood cancer, and its international links with other institutions.Contact
Petra Giegerich | idw
Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
11.12.2017 | Information Technology