Biobank project and its GECCOS pilot study
The biobank project consists of the establishment of the first Swiss pediatric biobank, based in Geneva but national in scope, of germinal DNA from survivors of a cancer diagnosed in pediatric age (about 7000 people to date). This national biobank will actually be an evolution of the local biobank, set up in 2016 by the CANSEARCH research platform to collect biological material and clinical and demographic data of patients from the pediatric oncology unit of the University Hospital in Geneva. In addition to the local and national component, DNA samples are also collected abroad and stored in the biobank to carry out various studies. The latter will be accessible to any researcher in the field and will serve as a lever of discovery in childhood cancer. The GECCOS (Genetic risks for Complications in Children after Oncological Treatment in Switzerland) pilot study will focus on the analysis of genetic risk factors that can lead to long-term complications (toxicity) following treatment, initially at the pulmonary and auditory level.
As part of these projects, the CANSEARCH Foundation also has the pleasure of funding Dr. Nicolas Waespe, a hematologist-pediatric oncologist and collaborator at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Berne, which is home to the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry. The collaboration between the CANSEARCH research platform and this institute also concerns the project “BioLink – a contribution to the networking of biobanks for research purposes” aiming at linking the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry in Bern, the biobank of germinal DNA samples in Geneva and the Zurich-based tumor tissue biobank.