Research projects

We support two types of projects: projects aimed at generating data for the expansion of the database, and projects that focus on research into tumor types and genetic characteristics to improve the (targeted) treatment of patients. We always work closely with relevant expert stakeholders and research partners to achieve the maximum synergy between expertise and interests. 

GENAYA

The GENAYA project uses the latest techniques to reveal the complete DNA of the tumors of 1,000 patients aged between 18 and 39. This allows treatments to be tailored to the specific tumor characteristics of each patient. The genetic information and treatment data are stored in the Hartwig Medical Database (with the patient’s consent) and made available for scientific research.

This age group is known as the AYAs: Adolescents and Young Adults. GENAYA stands for ‘A national database of GENome data of Adolescent and Young Adult cancers’. The project builds on the COMPRAYA infrastructure that is funded by the Dutch Cancer Society.

Partners: grants from the Dutch Cancer Society; in collaboration with the COMPRAYA consortium and academic medical centers

Project duration: 2022-2026

Number of patients: 1,000

GLOW

GLOW stands for ‘GLioblastoma targeted GLOW stands for ‘GLioblastoma targeted treatment Option maximization by Whole genome sequencing’. This project is investigating how to expand treatment options for patients with recurrent glioblastomas using molecular diagnostic procedures as part of WGS.

Partners: UMC Utrecht, HMC and all medical centers where GBM patients are treated; grant provided by the Oncode Institute

Project duration: 2021-2024

Number of patients: 200

CPCT-02

The CPCT-02 study was established to demonstrate the value of tumor DNA sequencing for personalized cancer treatment. The aim is to build a database and identify biomarkers that could point to improvements in the treatment of patients with oncological disease. CPCT is the Center for Personalized Cancer Treatment.

In recent years, the CPCT-02 study has focused on building a database that is suitable for further research. Researchers are impressed by the scale and scope of this study.

This WGS database of tissues of metastatic tumors is the largest of its kind in the world.

Partners: CPCT, 43 participating hospitals

Number of patients: by late 2021, nearly 7,000 patients had participated in the CPCT-02 study, resulting in more than 4,700 biopsies on which Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) reports have been based.

PEGASUS

PEGASUS is a subcohort of the CPCT-02 study. The acronym stands for ‘Pancreatic and EsophagoGastric cAncer: improving Survival and qUality of life through perSonalized medicine’.

In PEGASUS, researchers want to learn what the added value of WGS is for treatment decisions in pancreatic, esophageal and gastric cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer: despite intensive treatment with chemotherapy and/or surgery, most patients die from the disease within one year.

The PEGASUS project is investigating whether molecular techniques (gene expression and next generation sequencing) The PEGASUS project is investigating whether molecular techniques (gene expression and next generation sequencing) could help predict which patients could benefit from such intensive treatment. It will enable us to spare patients adverse side effects with a predicted poor response. PEGASUS is also exploring the extent to which WGS-based diagnostic procedures could generate additional treatment options.

Partners: PEGASUS is part of the ZonMw Personalised Medicine research program and is coordinated by Amsterdam UMC.

Project duration: 2019 until summer 2023

Number of patients: 125

DRUP

The DRUP study (Drug Rediscovery Protocol) is a clinical trial for patients with advanced or metastatic cancer for whom no standard treatment is available. In the DRUP study, we are investigating whether a targeted therapy designed for other cancer types, but with the same cancer cell characteristics, could be effective for these patients. A survey revealed that one third of the patients treated in the DRUP study benefited from the drug they received as part of the trial.

Partners: NKI/AvL and 35 participating hospitals

Project duration: launched in 2016

Number of patients: 1.113 on January 1, 2022, still growing, dependent on subcohort studies.

BLINC

BLINC (BLadder cancer Immunotherapy aNd Cost-effectiveness) is a subcohort of the CPCT-02 study and involves research into the identification of patients who could and could not  benefit from immunotherapy.

This research is also important for the affordability of care: immunotherapy is expensive. Identifying biomarkers for non-responders is important for reducing cost of over treatment.

Partners: Erasmus MC, UMC Utrecht and Amsterdam UMC; grants from the Dutch Cancer Society and ZonMw

Project duration: 2021 until summer 2023

Number of patients: 98

GENONCO

The GENONCO project aims to optimize the access to and usability of Hartwig Medical Foundation’s data. The goal is to safely bring the researcher to the data without constantly having to duplicate large amounts of privacy-sensitive information. Thanks to this project, bioinformaticians will soon be able to access data for large-scale analyses through a secure cloud environment. In addition, the project will establish a secure link between the databases of the National Cancer Registry (NKR), PALGA and Hartwig.

Partners: IKNL, PALGA and BBMRI/Lygature; grant provided by the Dutch Cancer Society

Project duration: 2018 to end 2021

WIDE

WIDE is the acronym for ‘WGS Implementation in standard Diagnostic tests for Every cancer patient’. This study was initiated to generate state-of-the-art scientific and practical evidence of the clinical added value of the complete DNA test.

Continuing the efforts made by stakeholders in the Health Deal (2017-2018), this clinical trial was launched in 2019 to gather evidence. The complete DNA test is validated, feasible and usable in standard of care diagnostics. A health technology assessment analysis was also performed as part of this project.

Partner: Netherlands Cancer Institute – Antoni van Leeuwenhoek; funded by ZonMw and Illumina

Project duration: summer 2019 to end 2021

Number of patients: 1,200

ACTIN

In ACTIN (Algorithmic Cancer Treatment In the Netherlands), we are developing an algorithm to be able to automatically select treatment options for patients with metastatic cancer who are out standard of care options and are in good enough health condition to undergo treatment. The complete DNA test plays an important role in this process.

Partner: Erasmus MC

Project duration: launched in summer 2021, official end date not yet known

Number of patients: 150 per year

TAPESTRY

TAPESTRY is a feasibility and biomarker discovery study for the treatment of patients with esophageal cancer using chemoradiotherapy and Bintrafusp Alfa.

Partners: Amsterdam UMC; funded by TKI

Project duration: expected launch in 2022

Number of patients: 55

OPTIC

OPTIC is the acronym for ‘Organoids to Predict Treatment response In mCRC’. The goal of this research project is to discover whether cultured tumor material (organoids) can be used to predict response to a particular treatment next to Whole genome sequencing.

Partner: this study was established by UMC Utrecht and Hubrecht Organoid Technology and is being conducted by physicians at several hospitals

Project duration: 2022-2023

Number of patients: 150

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