Red blood cell samples from over 3,000 Estonian donors will soon be sent to researchers in Slovenia and Germany who are developing a gene test to help better treat children with leukemia.
The University of Tartu, which operates the Estonian Genome Project, received the requests from the pharmacology department of the University of Ljubljana and the Dr. Margarete Fisher-Bosch Institute of Clinical Pharmacology in Germany.
Tartu University’s Ethics Committee on Human Research has given the green light to the project, which still needs to be approved by the Cabinet.
The samples will be used for the development of a genetic test that would help put together an individual treatment plan for children suffering from leukemia. According to Riin Tamm, researcher at the Estonian Genome Project, that research will be carried out on a biochemical level and will later be compared to genetic research conducted in Estonia on the same project.
She told uudised.err.ee that this time DNA samples will not be sent, as red blood cells provide biological material for this type of research. The samples are issued in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Human Genome Research Act, which ensures the anonymity of all donors.