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Newsitem 03-06-2013 -- MDxHealth Epigenetic Marker as Companion Diagnostic for Irinotecan based Therapy in Colorectal Cancer
IRVINE, CA, and LIEGE, BELGIUM -- 8:00 AM, June 3, 2013 - MDxHealth SA (NYSE Euronext: MDXH), a leading molecular diagnostic company that develops and commercializes epigenetic tests to support cancer treatment, today announced data showing that methylation of the Decoy Receptor 1 (DCR1) gene may help guide oncologists in selecting metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) patients to receive irinotecanbased therapy. The data, presented on June 2 at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago, USA, showed that CRC patients with methylated DCR1 did not benefit from the addition of irinotecan to capecitabine therapy.
Identification of DCR1 as a novel hypermethylated gene associated with a lack of benefit in adding irinotecan to capecitabine when treating metastatic colorectal cancer was performed in the pathology department of Prof. Gerrit Meijer (VUmc, Amsterdam) as part of the CTMM public-private partnership DeCoDe (Decrease Colorectal Cancer Death) project. Commenting on the discovery, Prof. Gerrit Meijer said "As part of a concerted effort to reduce the enormous impact of colorectal cancer on patients and healthcare systems, all 14 partners in the DeCoDe project have worked tirelessly to identify novel biomarkers that will aid in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease."
Prof. Wim Van Criekinge, CSO at MDxHealth added, "Predictive molecular biomarkers can help guide the selection of patients that are likely to respond to a given treatment, or in the case of DCR1, identify patients who are unlikely to respond to specific therapy, potentially sparing unnecessary toxicity and allowing treatment with more effective, alternative therapies earlier."
"The innovative use of advanced bioinformatics, combined with several Next Generation molecular profiling methods, and integrated with pharmacological data is one the key missions of NXTGNT and enables the highly efficient identification of specific predictive biomarkers, such as DCR1," stated Prof. Dieter Deforce, Head of the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at NXTGNT Center in Pharmaco (Epi)genomics, a joint collaboration between MDxHealth and the Ghent University.
Newsitem 29-04-2013 -- Radio interview about thesis of Linda Bosch, CTMM DeCoDe project
On Saturday April 27th Linda Bosch, researcher in the DeCoDe project, was interviewed about her thesis 'Molecular Markers for Colorectal Cancer Screening and Prediction of Response to Therapy' during the radio broadcast 'BNR Gezond' (in Dutch).
In September of this year the national screening program for colorectal cancer will start in The Netherlands. Thanks to Linda and the DeCoDe research team the first draft of the next generation screening test is already on the drawing table. Link to the newspage of BNR Gezond
The interview will be broadcasted again on Monday evening (29/4) 20:07:16 and 22:37:16 and Tuesday morning (3/4) 05:37:16 hrs. Via internet you can listen to it any time you want to.
In Dutch:
Aan het VUmc promoveerde op 25 april 2013 onderzoekster Linda Bosch. Basis voor haar promotie is haar onderzoek in het DeCoDe project.
In september 2013 start het landelijk bevolkingsonderzoek naar darmkanker, maar ondertussen ligt de nieuwe generatie screeningstest al op de tekentafel.
Newsitem 08-03-2012
(Magazine of VUmc (Tracer) March 8, 2012, in Dutch, download PDF)
Decrease Colorectal Cancer Death (DeCoDe) – Vrije Universiteit Medisch Centrum (VUMC), Amsterdam

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. G. A. Meijer
CTMM Program manager: Eric Caldenhoven
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third highest cause of cancer-related mortality in the western world. Globally, the annual economic burden for CRC is estimated to be in the range of $US 14 - 22 billion. Early detection and staging strategies, together with personalized therapies based upon individual tumor characteristics, are generally considered as the best way to improve patient outcomes and reduce the economic burden of CRC.
To achieve early molecular diagnosis and pre-cancer detection, the project will aim to identify and validate biomarkers in stool DNA and serum/tumor samples in order to develop genomic and proteomic tests as well as molecular MRI-based virtual colonoscopy. Clinical needs (e.g. risk of recurrence, response to drug therapy, image guided surgery) in primary and metastatic CRC will be addressed by establishing and validating biomarkers using genome wide and candidate gene approaches. For tumor staging and response monitoring, these novel biomarkers will be further developed into targeted imaging agents for MRI and PET-CT.
This consortium brings together most of the major Dutch research groups in translational CRC medicine. Through close collaborations between these research groups and industrial partners, leaders in the fields of early molecular detection, personalized therapies and molecular imaging are well represented.
Gerrit Meijer - gameijer_01.jpg
Prof. Gerrit Meijer is a pathologist with a special interest in cancer research, focusing on the gastrointestinal tract. After finishing medical school at the Vrije Universiteit he completed his PhD on ‘Risk assessment in patients with colorectal adenomas’. He pursued his research during his training in pathology, with a special focus on phenotype-genotype relationships. Professor Meijer leads a research group that focuses on translational genomics in colorectal and gastric cancer.

Prof. Gerrit Meijer:
"Recognition of the DeCoDe project is a breakthrough in translational colorectal cancer research in the Netherlands. In a broad national cooperation, we can now proceed with the development and validation of molecular diagnostic testing and imaging techniques for the early diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer."
Industrial partners
Philips Electronics:
MRC Holland:
Academic partners
Erasmus Medisch Centrum (EMC), Rotterdam:
Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC), Maastricht:
VU Medisch Centrum (VUMC), Amsterdam:
Academisch Medisch Centrum (AMC), Amsterdam:
Leids Universitair Centrum (LUMC), Leiden:
Status of the DeCoDe project end of 2009: PDF (download)
In response to the first call for project proposals in 2007, the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) announced on April 1, 2008, that nine first-call projects would receive research funding amounting to a total of 150 million Euro. On March 10, 2009, it announced that eight new project proposals, submitted in the fall of 2008 in response to the second call for proposals, will receive funding amounting to a total of almost another 100 million Euro.
All Dutch university medical centers, plus several universities, a broad spectrum of small and medium-sized enterprises, major industry leaders including Philips and DSM, and the Dutch Government are involved.
The funding is provided by the Dutch government, industry and academia. The research is focused firmly on the ‘translational’ aspects of molecular medicine so that results can be applied as quickly as possible to actual patient care.
DeCoDe is one of the projects from the first call.
09-03-2012 / update 29-04-2013 / update 08-07-2013




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