Local chemotherapy

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.

Predictive tests

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.

Visible tumors

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.

More information about technology platforms

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


Colorectal Cancer (CRC), a major healthcare problem, is characterized by the development of precursor lesions (adenomas) of which a small percentage will eventually progress into a cancer.

Colonoscopy has a central role in every CRC prevention program, as it allows detection and removal of precursor lesions thereby successfully preventing CRC.

The picture below is from a patient, aged 55 yrs, who had no complaints at all. Prevention is key!

Preventie loont_Grote poliep geen klachten
Via Tweet Dr. Luc Colemont, December 2, 2014

December, 2014

Global Battle

According to the World Cancer Report 2014, the worldwide burden of cancer rose to an estimated 14 million new cases per year in 2012, a figure expected to rise to 22 million annually within the next two decades.

"Despite exciting advances, the World Cancer Report 2014 shows that we cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem," states Dr Christopher Wild, Director of International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and co-editor of the report.

"More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally."

More information: WHO / International Agency for Research on Cancer


Total costs

Cancer costs European Union countries 126 bn euros a year, according to the first EU-wide analysis of the economic impact of the disease. The figures, published in the Lancet Oncology, included the cost of drugs and healthcare as well as earnings lost through sickness or families providing care. Lung cancer accounted for more than a tenth of all cancer costs in Europe.

However, the overall economic burden is behind the costs of dementia and cardiovascular disease.

Link to BBC News article

Flush colon cancer

Every day, 13 persons die from colon cancer. A large burden for patients, their family and for society. Prevention can help to dowsize these numbers. Therefore the Dutch Digestive Foundation started a campaign, March 2014.

Watch the video 'Your poop wants to tell you something' (in English).

Sorting cells

Researchers from MIT, Pennsylvania State University, and Carnegie Mellon University (US) have devised a new way to separate cells by exposing them to sound waves as they flow through a tiny channel. Their device, about the size of a dime, could be used to detect the extremely rare tumor cells that circulate in cancer patients’ blood, helping doctors predict whether a tumor is going to spread.

Watch video

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