Start Large Cancer Study
Press release - Leiden, February 27th, 2014
Understanding and tackling prostate and colorectal cancer through unlocking the cancer’s DNA code
With a large contribution of the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM), a new Dutch consortium will study the relationship between DNA aberrations and the development of both prostate and colorectal tumours. The project application has been filed by the Erasmus Medical Center, ServiceXS B.V. and the VU University Medical Center and will be coordinated by professor Guido Jenster (Erasmus MC). They have received funding of 1 million euros for this project called “NGS-ProToCol”.
Cancer and DNA
Cancer is a disease of the DNA, caused by changes in the genome of normal cells, resulting in cancer cells with the ability to continuously grow and to respond variably on anticancer treatments. In order to understand why normal cells become cancer cells and how we can identify and destroy them, the researchers in this project want to uncover all the DNA changes in a large set of individual tumors. Particularly for common tumor types such as prostate and colorectal cancers the researchers hope to make a serious impact and improve diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.
Recent developments in the area of genome sequencing (also called next-generation sequencing) make it possible to discover all mutations in a tumour in a single experiment. By analyzing the genome and transcriptome of multiple prostate and colorectal tumours, the researchers expect to discover and validate markers useful for finding tumors in an early stage and for predicting the aggressiveness of the disease. In addition, the genomic information will result in the identification of novel cancer proteins for which new therapeutic drugs can be designed.