Genetic variation as a modifier of association between therapeutic exposure and subsequent malignant neoplasms in cancer survivors

Academic Article


  • Subsequent malignant neoplasms (SMNs) are associated with significant morbidity and are a major cause of premature mortality among cancer survivors. Several large studies have demonstrated a strong association between the radiation and/or chemotherapy used to treat primary cancer and the risk of developing SMNs. However, for any given therapeutic exposure, the risk of developing an SMN varies between individuals. Genomic variation can potentially modify the association between therapeutic exposures and SMN risk and may explain the observed interindividual variability. In this review, the author provides a brief overview of the current knowledge regarding the role of genomic variation in the development of therapy-related SMNs and discusses the methodological challenges in undertaking an endeavor to develop a deeper understanding of the molecular underpinnings of therapy-related SMNs, such as an appropriate study design, the identification of an adequately sized study population together with a reliable plan for collecting and maintaining high-quality DNA, clinical validation of the phenotype, and the selection of an appropriate approach or platform for genotyping. Understanding the factors that can modify the risk of treatment-related SMNs is critical to developing targeted intervention strategies and optimizing risk-based health care for cancer survivors.
  • Published In

  • Cancer  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bhatia S
  • Start Page

  • 648
  • End Page

  • 663
  • Volume

  • 121
  • Issue

  • 5