Urological cancers About themeEvery year, almost 20,000 people in the Netherlands are diagnosed with a urological tumor: 6,900 bladder cancers, 2,850 kidney and urethral cancers and 10,000 prostate cancers. Overall prognosis is quite good for patients diagnosed with a localized tumor, but prospects are still poor for patients with disseminated disease. Consequently, more than 5,000 people die from urological cancers annually.
In treating urological cancers, physicians are confronted with a number of unmet clinical needs: there are no markers that can accurately indicate patients with localized tumors who will ultimately develop progressive disease, and there are no pre-treatment markers that can identify patients expected to respond well or badly to specific therapies. It remains important to develop and evaluate new treatment modalities with better efficacy and less mutilating effects. Especially in the field of prostate cancer, there is also a clear need for a marker that can better distinguish insignificant from significant cancers so that population-based screening for this disease may become cost-efficient.
This theme focuses its research efforts on solving these diagnostic and treatment dilemmas. It has a strong track record in (molecular) imaging, biomarkers, molecular pathology, genetic epidemiology, immunotherapy and clinical trials. Integration of these efforts will produce concept-changing translational projects that can pave the way to more individualized urological cancer care.
- We aim to identify novel high-penetrance susceptibility genes for bladder cancer.
- We aim to identify germline markers that may predict response to BCG treatment in bladder cancer and TKI treatment in renal cell cancer.
- We aim to quantify the effect of life-style factors on the prognosis of urological cancers.
- We aim to develop and validate new early detection and staging biomarkers in prostate cancer.
- We will evaluate and implement multi-parametric MRI for the detection and assessment of prostate cancer aggressiveness.
- We will validate and implement nano-MRI for the detection and treatment guidance of small lymph node metastases.
- We will evaluate the possibility of monitoring treatment response with hyperpolarized substrates.
- We will develop and validate per-operative imaging tools to improve cancer surgery outcomes.
- We will evaluate the efficacy of novel treatment modalities in RCTs including biomarkers.
- We will evaluate the cost effectiveness of new treatment paradigms in an early development phase.
- We will develop patient-derived models to individualize therapies.