Cancer Predisposition in Children
Researchers have identified that around 2 in 10 children with cancer were born with a genetic change that increased their cancer risk. This is known as a cancer predisposition syndrome. There is new technology that can quickly and accurately identify these changes, known as genomic sequencing. Children found to have a cancer predisposition syndrome can then engage in cancer surveillance to identify new cancers at an earlier and more treatable stage. However, there are lots of things unknown about the impact of genomic sequencing and ongoing cancer surveillance in children. This includes the optimal time to offer testing, families preferences for the return of genetic results, the impact of testing on family relationships and communication, on psychological well-being, the psychosocial impact of ongoing surveillance, and how to provide appropriate support to help families understand and address the implications of genomic sequencing findings. This PhD project aims to address these challenges, through talking to families with a child with cancer who have undergone genomic sequencing, as well as families with an increased cancer risk who are participating in surveillance. Questionnaires and interviews will be used to collect data on families experiences.
A/Prof Michelle Peate (University of Melbourne, Royal Women's Hospital), Dr Kate Hetherington (University of NSW), Dr Noemi Futentes-Bolanos (University of NSW), Dr Kanika Bhatia (Royal Children's Hospital)