The use of ionising radiation (IR) for medical diagnosis and treatment procedures has had a major impact on the survival of paediatric patients. Although the benefits of these techniques lead to efficient health care, evaluation of potential associated long-term health effects is required. HARMONIC aims to better understand the increased risk of cancer and non-cancer effects after exposure to medical IR in children with cancer treated with modern external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) – radiation energy in MeV range – and in children with cardiac defects diagnosed and treated with cardiac fluoroscopy procedures (CFP) – radiation energy in keV range. The project investigates, among survivors of paediatric cancer, potential endocrine dysfunction, cardiovascular and neurovascular damage, health-related quality of life and second (and subsequent) primary cancer (SPC). The cardiac component builds a pooled cohort of approximately 90 000 paediatric patients who underwent CFP during childhood and adolescence to investigate cancer risk following exposure to IR and explore the potential effects of conditions predisposing to cancer. HARMONIC develops software tools to allow dose reconstruction in both EBRT and CFP to enable epidemiological investigations and future optimisation of treatments. With the creation of a biobank of blood and saliva samples, HARMONIC aims to provide a mechanistic understanding of radiation-induced adverse health effects and identify potential biomarkers that can predict these effects.
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering