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Esmé Waanders

Esmé Waanders
Esmé Waanders
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. 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. I hypothesize that in a significant proportion of children and young adults, the occurrence of second malignancies signifies a genetic predisposition. I use next generation sequencing in normal and tumor tissues of carefully selected cohorts of pediatric and young adult cancer patients and their parents, in order to identify the predisposing variants. Functional studies on the variants found focus on expression, localization, and cell biological effect. I anticipate that this work will increase our knowledge on the cause, incidence and penetrance of cancer in children and young adults, which will subsequently have consequences for its clinical management.

I performed my postdoctoral research in the Radboudumc (Nijmegen, the Netherlands) focusing on the somatic aberrations in pediatric leukemia and in St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Memphis, TN) studying familial leukemia. My current research at the Princess Máxima Center focusses on clonal evolution and relapse development in leukemia and on predisposition in children with cancer.

I am chair of the COST action LEukemia GENe Discovery through data sharing, mining,  and collaboration (LEGEND, CA16223), which creates and facilitates networks of clinicians and researchers in Europe in order to study predisposition to pediatric leukemia and lymphoma development and adverse effects to treatment.

As of July 2018, I am in training for Laboratory Specialist Clinical Genetics at the University Medical Center Utrecht in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

  • Prevalence of (Epi)genetic Predisposing Factors in a 5-Year Unselected National Wilms Tumor Cohort

    • jun. 2022
    • Janna A, Hol, et al
    • Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Clonal dynamics in pediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia with very early relapse

    • jan. 2022
    • Željko, Antić, et al
    • Pediatric blood & cancer
  • Prevalence of (Epi) genetic Predisposing Factors in a 5-Year Unselected National Wilms Tumor Cohort: A Comprehensive Clinical and Genomic Characterization.

    • jan. 2022
    • JA, Hol, et al
    • Renal tumors in children and the role of (epi) genetic predisposition
  • Multiclonal complexity of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia and the prognostic relevance of subclonal mutations

    • dec. 2021
    • Željko, Antić, et al
    • Haematologica
  • Optical genome mapping identifies a germline retrotransposon insertion in SMARCB1 in two siblings with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors

    • okt. 2021
    • Mariangela, Sabatella, et al
    • The Journal of pathology
View all publications