Some children with cancer have a genetic predisposition to develop the disease. Recognition of genetic predisposition in children with cancer is of high clinical significance since it might influence therapy choices, surveillance policies and counseling of relatives. Syndromes predisposing to pediatric cancer are often challenging to recognize.
In the PrediCT project (Predisposition to Childhood Tumors) we study how children with pediatric cancer predisposition syndromes can best be detected. We perform two parallel strategies:
- Pediatric oncologists use an online decision-support tool. This tool helps to determine whether to refer a child for clinical genetic assessment. Targeted genetic testing is offered to all patients with high suspicion for a specific cancer predisposition syndrome.
- After informed consent, a panel of all genes associated with pediatric cancer predisposition is analyzed.
Ultimately, we will evaluate both routes of identification in order to extract the most optimal protocols for systematic detection of genetic cancer predisposition for all types of pediatric cancer. Furthermore, we will obtain better insight into the prevalence of genetic predisposition among children with cancer.