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. 

For these projects, the CANSEARCH Foundation is pleased to fund two individuals outside of, but collaborating with, the CANSEARCH Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Research Platform.

They are Dr. Nicolas Waespe, a paediatric haematologist-oncologist and collaborator at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Bern, where the Swiss Child Cancer Registry is housed. The collaboration between the CANSEARCH research platform and this institute is based on the project “BioLink – a contribution to the networking of biobanks for research purposes”, which aims to link the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry in Bern, the biobank for germline DNA samples in Geneva and the tumour tissue biobank in Zurich.

The Cansearch Foundation is also funding Mr. Sven Strebel, a PhD student at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Bern, who is analyzing aspects related to the consequences on the hearing (ototoxicity) of cancer survivors, a study linked to our GECCOS project “Genetic riss for Childhood Cancer Complications in Switzerland”.

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