4 Year KWF-fellowship for Esmé Waanders, Department of Human Genetics

Waanders, Esme

Dr Esmé Waanders from the department of Human Genetics has been awarded a 4 year KWF-fellowship for fundamental research from the Dutch Cancer Society for her project entitled "Cancer at young age: coincidence or consequence?"

A genetic predisposition to cancer is commonly recognized, but the underlying causes have so far been resolved in only a few percent of the cases. Moreover, second malignancies in children without a known cancer syndrome or a pronounced family history for cancer may be mistaken for relapses or therapy-related malignancies. The project aims to identify novel genes involved in cancer predisposition in children and young adults using the latest in-depth genomic profiling and sequencing technologies, and to explore their contribution to cancer development in these age groups. A stringent selection of childhood/young adult cancer patients that exhibit a late hematologic relapse, two malignancies, or multiple cases within one family, will facilitate the identification of predisposing genes. These integrated clinical-genetic analyses will not only yield novel knowledge on cancer predisposition in the pediatric age range, but may also have consequences for its clinical management.

The project will be performed at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, USA (with Dr Charles Mullighan), at Children's Hospital Boston in Boston, MA, USA (with Dr  Leonard Zon) and the Department of Human Genetics in Nijmegen.

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