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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Genetic Susceptibility and Treatment-associated Risk of Second Primary Cancers

Prior cancer treatments are a key risk factor for subsequent neoplasms. Individuals with certain hereditary disorders such as ataxia telangiectasia have marked sensitivity to the effects of radiation, but less is known about genetic susceptibility to radiation-related carcinogenesis beyond the context of these rare disorders, and very little is known about genetic susceptibility to chemotherapy-related carcinogenesis. Multiple, complex genetic pathways such as DNA damage repair, oxidative stress, and cell cycle control likely contribute to the development of radiation- and chemotherapy-related neoplasms, supporting a polygenic model for sensitivity to therapy-related neoplasms. 

Investigators in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch are partnering with investigators from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study to conduct a genome-wide association study of subsequent neoplasms in childhood cancer survivors. They are also conducting studies of specific RB1 mutations and subsequent neoplasm risk in retinoblastoma survivors, with exome sequencing for patients with selected types of subsequent neoplasms. Opportunities exist for post-doctoral fellows to participate in current and future research on genetic susceptibility to multiple primary cancers.

For more information, contact Lindsay Morton.