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Martin Dalin Group

Martin Dalin is a resident physician in pediatric oncology at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. After a PhD in experimental cancer biology at the University of Gothenburg and a postdoc in cancer genetics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, he has started this translational project applying his research background in molecular cancer biology to his clinical interest in pediatric oncology.

 Genetic disease markers in childhood cancer

Despite significantly improved treatment outcomes of most pediatric cancers during the last decades, around 20% of children diagnosed with cancer in Sweden and most other industrialized countries today die from their disease. At the same time, severe side effects and long-term complications of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments are frequently reported. Finding the balance between effective treatment and acceptable side effects for each patient is one of the greatest challenges of pediatric cancer management.

The goal of this project is to investigate the potential of using circulating cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA) as a marker for disease burden, treatment response, and relapse in childhood cancer. To date, most ctDNA studies have investigated the potential of well-known hotspot oncogenic mutations as plasma markers of disease in adult cancer patients. However, pediatric cancers are characterized by few somatic point mutations, and a large number of structural chromosomal rearrangements leading to copy number alterations and fusion genes. They also show a striking genetic diversity, indicating that personalized design of ctDNA assays are most likely required to investigate the potential of this method as a biomarker in pediatric cancers.

Areas of Interest

Our areas of interest include pediatric cancer genetics, whole exome and whole genome sequencing, bioinformatics, and circulating tumor DNA analyses. For example, we are using Simple multiplexed PCR-based barcoding of DNA for ultrasensitive mutation detection by next-generation sequencing (SimSenSeq), developed by Dr. Anders Ståhlberg and coworkers.

We have a biobank of blood samples drawn sequentially before, during and after therapy in children with all types of cancer. Blood plasma and cells are stored separately. This collection of patient material may be of interest for collaborators in the field.


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Page Manager: Mattias Lindgren|Last update: 4/11/2019

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