Wojciech Fendler, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, winner of the grant in the FIRST TEAM program (competition 2/2016) implemented by the Foundation for Polish Science as part of the Intelligent Development Operational Program, is working on creating a simple test for predicting complications after radiation therapy in oncologically treated patients. The test will be based on microRNA biomarkers showing how patient cells respond to a specific dose of radiation. Thanks to it, it will be possible to select the individual dose of radiation to minimize side effects.
Radiation therapy is one of the three basic methods of oncological treatment, in addition to surgery and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, it happens that it causes severe complications that can even lead to death. This is due to the fact that radiation destroys not only cancer cells, but also healthy tissue located near the tumor. This is called radiotoxicity and it is not currently possible to assess it in a particular patient before starting treatment or even after the first dose. The aim of the project is to find biomarkers present in the patient’s blood that would allow rapid and effective assessment of radiosensitivity. This would allow identifying patients at high risk for serious radiation complications who need treatment modification to make it safe. In such patients, radiation doses can be reduced, radioprotective drugs can be used or symptomatic treatment of radiation reactions can be initiated early.