Dr. Lars O. Baumbusch
Department of Pediatric Research
Division of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine
Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet
Department of Mechanical, Electronics and Chemical Engineering
Oslo Metropolitan University
Presentation title "Childhood cancers – from biobanking to sequencing projects"
Every year, approximately 150 children develop pediatric cancer in Norway. Many current treatment protocols incorporate specific molecular and genetic markers, which has improved overall childhood cancer survival rates. However, several pediatric cancer subgroups are still difficult to treat successfully, making pediatric cancers the dominant cause of death by disease among children over one year of age in developed countries.
Next generation sequencing will be the basis for personalized cancer medicine in the near future, in particular for heterogenic diseases with multi-modal therapy applications like neuroblastoma - one of the major challenges in pediatric oncology. In Norway, like in other countries, a number of national research projects are on-going exploring the clinical potential of genome sequencing in adult cancers. However, the results from adult cancer sequencing research efforts cannot simply be translated to pediatric cancers, as childhood cancers are substantially different from adult cancer in terms of clinical behaviour, frequency, histopathology, genetic subtypes, and tumor biology. A better understanding of the factors influencing the onset and progression of childhood cancers may lead to novel insights about tumor aggressiveness and treatment susceptibility.
A national Norwegian childhood cancer biobank has been established (https://www.ous-research.no/childhoodcancerbiobank/) to stimulate translational research. On-going childhood cancer research projects are investigating sequencing data aiming towards better characterization of the individual disease. It is planned that Norwegian childhood cancer patients with relapsed or refractory cancers will participate in extended genomic characterization and international targeted clinical trials. All these efforts will support the main goal of increasing survival rates for children with cancer in Norway in the near future.
SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND OF DR. LARS O. BAUMBUSCH
Dr. Lars O. Baumbusch is a molecular biologist working as a senior scientist at the Dep. of Pediatric Research, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet, Norway. Currently, he also holds an associate professor position at the Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway.
LOB graduated with an MSc (diploma) degree in biology from the Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany. He obtained his PhD (Dr. scient.) from the University of Oslo, Norway in 2001. In his thesis, he analyzed genes controlling embryogenesis and embryo dormancy in plants, including chromatin-modulating SET domain genes.
A post-doc career stipend, awarded from the Norwegian Research Council, provided him with the opportunity to study gene regulation and dysregulation in breast tumor development and progression at the Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital Radiumhospitalet. He continued his scientific career (as a post-doc, scientist, and project group leader) at the same institution, applying advanced bioinformatic tools for copy number analysis. Moreover, he examined genomic instability in primary breast and ovarian tumors and molecular signatures of circulating or disseminated tumor cells (micrometastasis) in breast cancer. In addition, he was engaged as an adjunct associate professor at the University of Oslo from 2006 to 2010. One of his projects, focusing on long non-protein coding RNAs profiles in breast cancer, was honored with the EACR Presidential Session Research Award at the EACR-21 in 2010.
Since 2012, he is an established senior scientist and project leader at the Dep. of Pediatric Research, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet investigating oxidative stress models and novel biomarkers for neonatal asphyxia damages. His scientific interests cover also how modern single cell and sequencing technologies can be applied to explore childhood cancers, in particular high-risk neuroblastoma. To this end, he is one of the co-founders of the Norwegian childhood cancer biobank. For more details about his scientific career, projects, and publications, see the official web page at www.ous-research.no/home/pediatricresearch/Group%20members/….