Medicine & Dentistry-Medical Microbiology & Immunology
University of Alberta
Summary of research:
Success rates in treating childhood cancer have improved to approximately 80% today. Unfortunately, childhood cancer survivors are predisposed to serious health outcomes in later life, due to adverse reactions to the chemotherapies used to treat their cancer. Depending on the chemotherapy, up to 60% of children experience some form of adverse drug reaction, such as hearing loss or cardiac irregularities. Negative impacts on long-term health and social outcomes have been documented in adult survivors of childhood cancers. The development of adverse drug reactions can be influenced by subtle genetic differences between patients. The goal of this work is to improve the safety of chemotherapy in children through the study of the genetic differences associated with adverse drug reactions. One aim of this project is to identify these genetic differences so that it is possible to predict whether hearing loss will occur in a specific patient. A second aim of this project is to study how these genetic differences impact adverse drug reactions, thereby providing opportunities to potentially prevent this outcome through the development of prophylactic treatments that could benefit all patients.