Early diagnosis, select the most suitable therapy right away and improve its therapeutic effect – the key elements of the CTMM approach to fight cancer.
CTMM aims to turn the latest insights from cancer research into techniques and tools that enable physicians to diagnose cancer earlier and/or more specifically with respect to subtype, to better predict which treatment will elicit the best therapeutic response or to employ existing therapies in a more targeted manner.
One main line of research within the CTMM cancer program is to identify and validate new biomarkers: genes or proteins that indicate for example the specific cancer sub-type, the risk of cancerous spread or the probability of resistance against a certain anti-cancer drug. These biomarkers can be used to develop new diagnostic tests or predictive tests that allow oncologist to tune the treatment plan specifically to a patient's individual characteristics. In other words, personalized medicine.
The other main research line concentrates on the development of molecules, so-called imaging probes, that can be used to visualize processes within the human body. When using imaging probes that specifically bind to tumors, radiation therapy can be much better targeted to the affected areas. Another application is to check during surgery whether all tumor tissue has been removed.
Overview of projects in the CTMM cancer program
AIRFORCE: Personalized chemotherapy against lung cancer
BioCHIP: Diagnosing leukemia sub-types
Breast CARE: Predicting therapy response in breast cancer patients
Cancer Vaccine Tracking: Therapeutic vaccines against cancer
CRCbioscreen (valorization project): Tumor-specific stool-based protein biomarkers
DeCoDe: Early diagnosis of colorectal cancer
HIFU-CHEM: More chemo where it should be
MAMMOTH: Identifying preliminary stages of breast cancer
MUSIS: Check removal of tumor tissue during surgery
Nano Ca IX valorization project: Clinical optical imaging systems breast cancer
NGS-ProToCol valorization project: Identifying diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for prostate and colorectal cancer
PCMM: Limit over-diagnosis and over-treatment in prostate cancer
VOLTA: Remove tumors through local heating