Collaboration between Tytgat and van Heesch
For my project we are studying circular RNAs (circRNAs) in pediatric cancers. CircRNAs are generally more stable than their linear counterparts, which makes it likely that they can function as biomarkers. We investigate whether circRNAs can function as biomarker for pediatric cancers, in particular neuroblastoma. These circRNAs could then be used for diagnostics or disease monitoring. We have implemented a pipeline to detect which circRNAs are present in the patients’ tumors, using previously generated total RNA-seq data. After filtering for neuroblastoma-specific circRNAs, we will also determine which of these circRNAs are detectable in blood plasma. This will hopefully lead to a set of circRNAs that can be used as biomarkers for neuroblastoma for diagnostics and disease monitoring.