Researchers – About AGORA

Most children are born healthy, but 2-3% of children are born with a congenital malformation or will develop cancer at a young age. The causes of most anomalies in children are still largely unknown. For some children, genetic predisposition seems to be an important factor. But circumstances shortly before and during pregnancy may also play a role, such as health problems of the mother, diet, medication use, and occupation of the parents.


To facilitate research into the causes and consequences of congenital malformations, such as malformations of the kidneys and urinary tract, intestines and anus, lip and palate, and the heart, and of childhood cancers, the Amalia children’s hospital, the Department for Health Evidence, and the Department of Genetics of the Radboud university medical center (Radboudumc) in Nijmegen, the Netherlands started a data- and biobank in 2004 called AGORA. This is the abbreviation of Aetiologic research into Genetic and Occupational / Environmental Risk factors for Anomalies in children.


Blood is drawn and stored from patients attending a paediatric department in the Radboudumc or in other hospitals participating in AGORA. Blood is drawn from the biological parents as well. In addition, the parents are both asked to complete a questionnaire with questions about circumstances around the pregnancy period. We also collected data and biological material from unaffected control children and their parents in 2011.


The ultimate goal of AGORA is to investigate whether certain anomalies in children can be prevented or can be treated more adequately in the future and whether we can predict the prognosis.


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