Predicting Late-Effects in Cancer Treatments
Chemo- and radiotherapies are sometimes very effective treatments for cancer. However, chemotherapy drugs are usually pretty indiscriminate in their work, killing not just the rapidly dividing cells of the cancer, but also other rapidly dividing cells and as such are dangerous to pregnancy.
There is also the risk of developing infertility after treatment has ceased though, due to damage done by the drugs to eggs. Likewise, radiotherapy is also effective at removing harmful cancerous tissue, but it is incredibly hard to target the cancer cells and not damage the surrounding tissue of the ovaries/testes if that is where the cancer is positioned. The field of Oncofertility is a growing area of research centred around preserving fertility in post-treatment cancer survivors.
In HIG our aim is to produce advanced models that allow the prediction and qualification of these adverse sequelae, thereby aiding clinical teams in their search for treatments that cure cancers with minimal adverse late-effects. Thus, we hope to reduce the number of cancer survivors that have impaired fertility due to the use of chemo- and radiotherapy in their treatment.
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