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Prostate Cancer Molecular Medicine (PCMM) – Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam
Principal Investigator: Professor Chris H. Bangma
CTMM Program manager: Eric Caldenhoven
Prostate cancer is a major cause of death in men. It can be treated by radiotherapy or surgical removal of the prostate, but a substantial number of patients suffer relapse due to metastatic tumours that can only be treated by palliative therapy.
The Prostate Cancer Molecular Medicine (PCMM) project will address two major clinical needs. Firstly, the need to reduce over-diagnosis, over-biopsy and over-treatment of prostate cancer due to today’s less than ideal screening tests (PSA tests). Secondly, the need for better therapy monitoring techniques for advanced prostate cancer.
To improve over-diagnosis, the project will attempt to develop and validate novel biomarkers in blood, urine and tissue that can be used to differentially diagnose and evaluate prognosis for individual patients, and that can also be applied for tailored treatment. To improve therapy monitoring for metastatic tumours, it will develop and test innovative imaging tools that can be used to visualise and evaluate early response to treatment, allowing health care management at the level of the individual patient. These tools will also be applied to address the urgent demand for more effective clinical assessment of new candidate drugs.
The PCMM project will also aim to create an infrastructure that can be used to facilitate the integration of new biomarkers and imaging data into a future clinical decision support system for prostate cancer.

Prof. Bangma - Pasfoto chris.png

Chris H. Bangma was nominated Professor and Chairman of the Department of Urology at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in 2002.  He wrote his PhD thesis on 'Prostate Specific Antigen and ultrasonography in detection and follow-up of prostate cancer' in 1995 and completed his professional urology training in 1997. He was granted a research fellowship on gene therapy for prostate cancer by the Dutch Cancer Society, and actively participated in the European Randomised study on Screening of Prostate Cancer ERSPC from its start in 1992 as a board member. From 2004 to 2008 he coordinated the P-Mark consortium under the umbrella of the Sixth Framework Program for the search and validation of prognostic serum markers for prostate cancer. He is principal investigator of the PRIAS (Prostate Cancer International Study of Active Surveillance), PROCABIO (Prostate Cancer Biomarker research in clinical setting of Active Surveillance), ZonMw Translationeel Gentherapeutisch Onderzoek and PRO-NEST (Prostate Research Organizations - Network of Early Stage Training) programs/studies.
Professor Chris H. Bangma:
“PCMM is a tremendous opportunity to concentrate together with industry and academia on the pivotal questions in prostate cancer: how to distinguish upfront low risk tumours from those that will act aggressively. Improved markers and imaging will also support the evaluation of drugs relevant for men with metastatic disease.”
Industrial partners:
  • Astellas Pharma
  • Dionex Benelux
  • IQ Therapeutic 
  • NovioGendix Research
  • Philips Electronics Nederland
 Academic partners:
Status of the PCMM 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. On August 4, 2009, it announced further funding of 15 million Euro for the following research project on prostate cancer.
All Dutch university medical centres, 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 in CTMM projects.
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.
PCMM is one of the projects from the second call.




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