"We know that there is considerable person-to-person variation in the sensitivity of normal tissues, and tumour tissues, to radiotherapy and that this sensitivity may have a genetic basis", explained Dr. Hlscher. "It is evident also that surgery, chemotherapy drugs and some rare genetic syndromes can influence side effects of radiation, as may other factors such as age, hypertension, other medication and other diseases. Prediction of individual patient's sensitivity to radiotherapy would allow treatment to be tailored to minimise side effects for those most sensitive, whilst allowing more intense, and potentially more effective, treatment for those predicted to have better tolerance".
The GENEPI (GENEtic pathways for the Prediction of the effects of Irradiation) project aims to provide a scientifically rigorous method of predicting both radiotherapy efficacy and side effects based on a wide range of genetic, physical and other patient-related factors. It will lead to the establishment of the only pan-European database on radiation-related morbidity and will be open to the scientific community all across Europe. A databank in Brussels will be linked to decentralised tissue banks (tumour, skin and blood samples from cancer patients and skin and blood samples from individuals without cancer) in several European countries. After obtaining informed consent, anonymous, coded clinical details will be stored centrally, and this will include information on the effectiveness and side effects of radiotherapy. This will form a detailed outcome-database from a large number of patients who r
Contact: Stuart Bell
Federation of European Cancer Societies