Lara Barazzuol receives KWF Young Investigator grant

17 August 2017

KWF Young Investigator grant (500.000 euro) by Alpe d’HuZes/KWF for Lara Barazzuol (Coppes group).

Project title: Preventing radiation-induced neurocognitive dysfunction in patients with paediatric brain tumours: biological mechanisms and potential role of proton therapy

Project Leader: Lara Barazzuol

Brain tumours account for more than 20% of childhood cancers and are the most common form of solid tumours in children. Impairment of neurocognitive functioning is the main cause of reduced quality of life in long-term survivors of childhood brain tumours. Unfortunately, radiotherapy remains one of the major contributors to the development of neurocognitive dysfunction.

The proposed project focuses on assessing the effect of radiation dose on defined brain areas/domains in terms of neurocognitive dysfunction and aims to achieve an improved understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms. Our findings will provide a better foundation for the radiation treatment plan aimed at minimizing the risk of neurocognitive decline, while also identifying potential targets for pharmacological intervention. This will guide future clinical trials using modern radiotherapy techniques, in particular proton therapy. This is an especially timely study as all paediatric indications for proton therapy in the Netherlands will be referred to the UMC Groningen Proton Therapy Center (GPTC), which will be operational by the end of 2017.

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