Purpose: The development of adverse effects resulting from the radiotherapy of cancer limits the use of this treatment modality. The validation of a test capable of predicting which patients would be most likely to develop adverse responses to radiation treatment, based on the possession of specific genetic variants, would therefore be of value. The purpose of the Genetic Predictors of Adverse Radiotherapy Effects (Gene-PARE) project is to help achieve this goal.
Methods and materials: A continuously expanding biorepository has been created consisting of frozen lymphocytes and DNA isolated from patients treated with radiotherapy. In conjunction with this biorepository, a database is maintained with detailed clinical information pertaining to diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. The DNA samples are screened using denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) and the Surveyor nuclease assay for variants in ATM, TGFB1, XRCC1, XRCC3, SOD2, and hHR21. It is anticipated that additional genes that control the biologic response to radiation will be screened in future work.
Results: Evidence has been obtained that possession of variants in genes, the products of which play a role in radiation response, is predictive for the development of adverse effects after radiotherapy.
Conclusions: It is anticipated that the Gene-PARE project will yield information that will allow radiation oncologists to use genetic data to optimize treatment on an individual basis.