Germline predisposition to hematopoietic malignancies
Aims: The Godley Laboratory is trying to understand why certain people develop cancer and if they inherit any DNA changes that increase their risk for cancer. The lab is especially interested in cancers of the blood and bone marrow.
Scientific Rationale: A lot of scientific work has gone into understanding what causes cancer, including what DNA changes increase a person's risk for cancer. So far, the strongest associations between inherited DNA changes and blood cancers are found for the development of a type of blood cancer called myelodysplastic syndrome, which typically is diagnosed in older adults. The Godley Lab believes that there are likely to be a lot more inherited DNA changes that what we recognize today, and large population-based databases such as the UK Biobank can be used to identify these inherited DNA changes and the cancers that develop as a consequence of them. The Godley Laboratory seeks access to the UK Biobank to understand how many people have certain medical conditions and to help them figure out which inherited DNA changes actually increase a person's risk for cancer.
Project Duration: five years; although we anticipate that the work will be ongoing beyond this and request a rolling 3-year period with annual updates (see below).
Public Health Impact: The outcome from this research will have important implications for patients with blood and bone marrow cancers and their families: the work will increase awareness of these conditions, improve monitoring strategies to find cancer, and potentially approaches to delay or even prevent cancer development for people at-risk.