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Study on Genetic Impact of Radiation
The study, which combines cancer survivors in the United States and Scandinavia, is looking at potential genetic consequences of reproductive organs exposed to curative treatment by drugs or radiation. Researchers want to determine whether radiation and chemotherapy before conception increases the occurrence of birth defects, stillbirths and specific conditions such as Down syndrome. They also want to know if radiation therapy leads to cancer or DNA damage in the patients' offspring. It is the first and largest study of its kind.
In Denmark and Finland, scientists have been able to identify all cancer survivors since 1943 and 1952, respectively, who had cancer before age 35. They also documented the nearly 20,000 children produced by the survivors. Researchers now want to compare their findings with patients in the United States.
"So far, the results have been encouraging," said John J. Mulvihill, M.D., one of the leaders of the study and a renowned geneticist at the OU College of Medicine and the OU Cancer Institute. "This study is important for a number of reasons, but most notably for cancer survivors who need reassurances that their children will not be affected by their chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This research also will help families in Hiroshima and Chernobyl where residents were exposed to high levels of radiation as children and young adults".
In addition to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, seven top cancer research centers worldwide are participating in the study.
For more information on the Genetic Consequences of Cancer Treatment Study, go online to.
Posted by: Emily Source