Research in the field of pediatric oncology aims to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for children with cancer. Based on innovative diagnostic procedures, new tumor classifications are expected to be established. Another goal is to better understand the mechanisms of tumor growth.
One research focus in Dresden is understanding genetic predisposition. Genetic predisposition means that children carry inherited changes in their genes that were either directly inherited from the parents - father and mother - or newly appeared before birth (in utero). These genetic changes can influence the risk of developing cancer, but also the response to therapy and, most importantly, the short- and long-term spectrum of side effects. This is particularly important as the cure rate for children with cancer is well over 80 percent nowadays, but many patients suffer from late effects of the treatment.
Children newly diagnosed with cancer and their parents have the opportunity to participate in the TRIO study at the NCT/UCC Dresden since 2019. As part of the study, the genetic fingerprint of the child with cancer and the genetic fingerprint of the parents is determined. Based on this information, it can be predicted whether a genetic variant is present that is directly related to the tumor disease. If such a variant is present, the doctors can either adapt the therapy or make preventive recommendations in order to detect the occurrence of a secondary disease or severe acute long-term side effects at an early stage and positively influence them.