About 10% of all children with cancer have a hereditary predisposition to cancer. My research focuses on improving recognition of predisposition to childhood cancer and improving care for these children.
- J. Hol
- N. van Engelen
- S. Bon
- J. Bakhuizen
- Van der Ham
Every year, around 600 children in the Netherlands get cancer. In about 10 percent of these children, hereditary predisposition has contributed to the development of cancer. In some of these children, the change in DNA not only leads to cancer but also to other health or developmental problems. Recognizing these hereditary disorders is important to be able to offer children the best care. In addition, parents with knowledge about this predisposition can be informed about a recurrence of the condition within the family and the further family.
My research focuses on discovering new forms of predisposition to childhood cancer and optimizing care for children with already known forms of predisposition. For research into the discovery of new genes that predispose to cancer, I work together with colleagues from the Genomic Diagnostics section of the UMC Utrecht and researchers at the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology. For research to improve clinical care for these children, collaboration with many different disciplines within the WKZ is important.
With the arrival of the Princess Máxima Center, where all Dutch children with cancer are treated, an ideal situation has arisen in Utrecht to include enough patients for various studies for many rare hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes. For example, for a number of hereditary disorders, we are investigating the usefulness of screening research to detect cancer at an early stage, so that we can treat these children earlier and better. With the combination of these studies, I hope to eventually contribute to more tailor-made care for every child with cancer.