Article in the Tribune de Genève, 15 February 2022
Article in the “Journal of Clinical Oncology” of 1 February 2021 on the interim results of the FORUM study
A publication in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Oncology (read article), prepared in collaboration with CANSEARCH-supported researchers, reveals the interim results of the FORUM study. The aim of the study was to investigate whether chemotherapy prior to bone marrow or haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children was preferable to the commonly used radiation therapy, which has many side effects. However, the study finally showed that, despite the good results obtained with chemotherapy, those of radiotherapy remain better in terms of cure rates. Based on this finding, the CANSEARCH research platform is continuing this study by analysing other factors, such as the pharmacokinetics of Busulfan linked to the genetics of the young patient. To date, the DNA of more than 300 patients has been sequenced to obtain results on these aspects in particular.
Article on variations in a gene depending on a patient’s ethnicity affecting the response to a drug in the journal “Nature” of 3 March 2021
A recent publication in the prestigious scientific journal “Nature” (read article) by CANSEARCH-supported researchers examines variations in the GSTA1 gene by patient ethnicity and their impact on the metabolism of a drug, Busulfan, used prior to haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the treatment of childhood leukaemia. The results of the study confirmed that there is a significant difference in the distribution of these important GSTA1 gene variations among human populations in Africa, South and East Asia, Europe and America. Therefore, it has been demonstrated that all patients, regardless of ethnicity, should be accurately genotyped for GSTA1 variations prior to Busulfan administration to optimise treatment outcome.
The RELIVE project, which consists of setting up the first international registry on children with relapsed liver cancer, has established partnerships with all the researchers of the CHIC consortium from all over Europe (SIOPEL), Japan (JPLT), Australia and New Zealand, as well as from the USA and Canada. The different research groups are currently opening up for this project and collecting all data related to recently used treatments for children with relapsed liver cancer. The aim is to feed this data into a central international registry, based at the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), and then study how to improve the survival of these children in the future. Link to the RELIVE website: https://relive-international.net
The Geneva biobank for paediatric oncology and haematology (BaHOP) has received the Vita label from the Swiss Biobanking Platform (SBP), which attests to its compliance with the applicable legal and ethical framework. This recognition is a testament to the commitment to provide high quality samples to the research community. Indeed, BaHOP is now open to other researchers in the field, in order to increase its added value and impact for society. For example, it is used in the framework of the project conducted in collaboration with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), under the leadership of Prof. Didier Trono. This project correlates RNA sequencing data from biological samples currently stored in BaHOP with the development of graft-versus-host disease in stem cell transplantation. Similarly, Dr. Arnaud L’Huillier, head of clinic at the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Unit of the HUG, is also using the BaHOP for his project on human viruses in paediatric transplantation. Finally, Dr. Nicolas Waespe from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Bern has recently been using BaHOP, also in collaboration with France, for his project on genetic variations in the face of radiotherapy for thyroid cancer.