‘Custom treatment’ for colon cancer
13 April 2017
Sjoerd Elias and PhD student Inge Ubink have developed a test which can easily identify patients with colon cancer who have a greater risk of metastases.
Every year 15,500 people are diagnosed with colon cancer in the Netherlands. In about 25 percent of them, the tumor biology is different. This group has a greater risk of metastases and hence a less favorable prognosis. Researchers at the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht Cancer Center have developed a diagnostic test with which this group can easily be identified.
Under the supervision of Prof. Onno Kranenburg and Prof. Inne Borel Rinkes, Inge Ubink (PhD student in the laboratory of Surgical and Translational Oncology) and Sjoerd Elias (epidemiologst at the Julius Center) worked on the development of this test and an initial validation. An article on the subject is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Also see attached editorial.
This test clears the way for personalized therapy, that is custom treatment, for intestinal cancer. A clinical study has therefore been launched to apply this test. In this ImPACCT study, patients with the prognostically unfavorable subtype of intestinal cancer are selected on the basis of endoscopic biopsy. Prior to the operation, patients undergo a short-term medicinal treatment with the aim of changing the tumor biology. A cohort of 27 patients is required for this study. The study is expected to be completed in 1.5 years and will demonstrate whether or not the medication has the desired effect. The ImPACCT study is a multidisciplinary collaboration between gastroenterology & hepatology specialists, oncologists and surgeons at the Meander Medical Center and the UMC Utrecht. The study is funded by the Dutch Cancer Society and the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development.