11 January 2022

Hans Jacobs and his research team, theme Cancer development and immune defence, developed a personalized blood-test to measure minimal residual disease (MRD) in patients with multiple myeloma. This finding has the potential to replace MRD-evaluation on bone marrow. KWF has therefore awarded this project with a Proof-of-Concept grant of 363 thousand euros to further develop and ultimately implement this minimally invasive personalized diagnostic test.    

Sensitive blood-test as patient-friendly alternative for bone marrow-based cancer monitoring.

Funded by KWF, an international team of researchers, led by the Radboudumc and the Erasmus MC, have developed a novel technique for the ultra-sensitive assessment of minimal residual disease (MRD) in a single drop of blood of patients with multiple myeloma using mass spectrometry. In a series of publications they have shown that the test can be applied to all myeloma patients and that that their blood-based method performs equally well compared to MRD-evaluation on bone marrow. “Through personalized diagnostics on one drop of blood, we can create a patient-friendly alternative to monitor minimal residual disease in myeloma patients,” says Medical Immunologist Hans Jacobs.

Patient benefit is the ultimate goal of KWF-funded cancer research. “Our minimally invasive blood test allows to monitor myeloma patients in greater detail, which is crucial for early detection of disease relapse” says dr. Jacobs.  “We have created personalized diagnostics that can make a significant health impact for cancer patients. We are honored that our project caught the attention of KWF and that they decided to support our team in our endeavor towards actual implementation of our methodology in clinical practice”.

Read a selection of the key publications of the MS-MRD blood test here:

  • Langerhorst P, Noori S, Zajec M, De Rijke Y, Gloerich J, Van Gool A, Caillon H, Joosten I, Luider T, Corre J, VanDuijn M, Dejoie T and Jacobs J. Multiple myeloma minimal residual disease detection: targeted mass spectrometry in blood vs next-generation sequencing in bone marrow. Clin Chem 2021;67:1689-98
  • Noori S, Verkleij C, Zajec M, Langerhorst P, Bosman P, De Rijke Y, Zweegman S, VanDuijn M, Luider T, Van de Donk N and Jacobs J. Monitoring the M-protein of multiple myeloma patients treated with a combination of monoclonal antibodies: the laboratory solution to eliminate interference. Clin Chem Lab Med 2021;59:1963-71
  • Langerhorst P, Brinkman A, VanDuijn M, Wessels H, Groenen P, Joosten I, Van Gool A, Gloerich J, Scheijen B, Jacobs J. Clonotypic features yield personalized biomarkers for minimal residual disease monitoring in multiple myeloma. Clin Chem 2021;67:867-75
  • Zajec M, Langerhorst P, VanDuijn M, Gloerich J, Russcher H, van Gool A, Luider T, Joosten I, de Rijke Y, Jacobs J. Mass Spectrometry for Identification, Monitoring, and Minimal Residual Disease Detection of M-Proteins. Clin Chem 2020;66:421-33

Read more about KWF here.

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