The rate of cancer in children rise s in Europe by 6-10% per ten years, and mortality and treatment toxicity are still high. Improving this requires a research strategy that integrates insight into genetics, biomarkers, and E-Health to
improve diagnostics, treatment, and quality of life (QoL).
The iCOPE (Interregional Childhood Oncology Precision medicine Exploration) initiative, granted with a 3years EU Interreg grant, combines patient cohorts and research expertise across the Öresund Region, including patients and
involving scientist from Skåne Region, Lunds University, Rigshospitalet and Danish Technical University.
iCOPE creates a shared database to include prospectively all newly diagnosed patients (ca 500 patients), and retrospectively a selection of patients (ca 1500) and pedigrees. Tumour DNA/RNA and host DNA is sequenced and coupled to phenotypic information including demographics, disease characteristics, treatment toxicity and outcome, and QoL. A number of research areas are identified, and some of those that will include patients from Lund are:
1. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment toxicity, late effects and the effect of host genome
2. Evolution of changes in tumor DNA during tumor growth, under chemotherapy and in primary versus relapsed
3. Genetic regulation of acute leukemias through gene expression profiling
4. Development and implementation of eHealth to improve self-management
in families suffering from childhood cancer
5. Identification and evaluation of ethical issues arising from generation and storage of patient and family genetic information
iCOPE will not only provide a platform to enlarge patient numbers and access to genotypic and phenotypic information within each individual project. It also very much promotes interaction among researcher across research area’s: an important notion as mainly a holistic research approach to these patients creates new possibilities to improve outcome.