Cancer in children is generally recognized as a rare and sporadic disease as it makes up less than 1% of all cancer cases. Recently, an

increased appreciation of the importance of the host genome has shown that about 10 percent of patients harbor variants

predisposing to malignancy development or variants impacting on the efficacy and toxicity of currently used drugs. Furthermore,

environmental factors have been associated to the development of childhood malignancies and therapy toxicity, however often with

conflicting result and without any direct molecular causal relationships.


The overall objective of this research topic is to systematically analyze the constitutional genetic causes of pediatric cancer, the constitutional variants contributing the toxicity, and to evaluate how genetic predisposition might be influenced by environmental factors including environmental pollution. Altogether this will open a new horizon for understanding the development, the prevention of childhood malignancies and optimalization of treatments.



Derpoorter C, Van Paemel R, Vandemeulebroecke KVanhooren J, De Wilde B, Laureys G and Lammens T. (2022). Whole genome sequencing and inheritance-based variant filtering as a tool for unraveling missing heritability in pediatric cancer. Pediatric Hematol. Oncol. 40 (4): 326-340. DOI: 10.1080/08880018.2022.2101723. PMID: 35876323