The Dutch Cancer Society has made an amount of nearly 5 million Euros available for research into rare tumors.

With this funding, two large national projects will be launched in 2021 that aim to improve diagnostics for patients with a rare form of cancer. In both projects (named COHERENT and FORCE) Amsterdam UMC researchers are involved. Read more about these projects below and in the KWF press release (in Dutch).

COHERENT project

The main goal of this project is to have the right, timely diagnosis of hematological malignancies in order select the right personalized treatment for improved patient care.

Due to current fast developments in technologies, clinical implications and demands from physicians, patients and caregivers, state of the art diagnostics have been established in expert centers of hematological malignancies.  However, these diagnostic tools are not yet uniformly available in all medical centers of the Netherlands. Variation exists in availability and quality of the assays, in used packages and in reporting of results to the clinic. So, the time is now to standardize diagnostics to improve outcome of patients.

Our technology driven infra-structure initiative will develop a COHERENT platform, which brings together National expertise, data and biomaterial accessibility. After harmonization of diagnostic protocols with expert centers in the Netherlands, that are also committed to this initiative, we will give trainings and perform qualification rounds. We will share disease-transcending best practice to offer newly developed technology to many different malignancies. And when we have harmonized the assays we will generate uniform reports to clinicians for similar interpretation of assay results. Using our website we will inform physicians and patients/caregivers about the diagnostics and what the results mean for patient care. In addition, data and biomaterials, for research and qualification rounds, can be assessed through our database platform after approval by the scientific committee. Approval will be based on usage for our goal to improve diagnostics and advance research for better care for patients with hematological malignancies.

Project leader:
Bert van der Reijden: Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen/Laboratory Medicine

Principal investigators:
Jacqueline Cloos: Amsterdam UMC, location VUMC (CCA) / Hematology
Arnon Kater: Amsterdam UMC, location AMC / Hematology
Peter Valk: Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam / Hematology

Support staff:
Experts (n=43) in clinical and laboratory facets of Hematology, and Research support

Important collaborations:
Dutch foundation for adult hematology (HOVON) and its expert working groups
Patient organization: HEMATON
Dutch expert societies (e.g. NVC, NVVH, SKML, MODHEM)

FORCE project

The Dutch Cancer Society is making an amount of 3.2 million euros available for the FORCE collaboration - UMC Groningen, UMC Utrecht, Erasmus MC, Amsterdam UMC and Maxima Medical Center - for research into rare tumors. In this partnership, researchers are building a national infrastructure that makes information about rare tumors accessible to doctors and researchers. This data collection makes it possible, for example, to determine which traces rare tumors leave in blood. FORCE wants to contribute to better and faster detection of rare cancer by developing ultra-sensitive blood tests. From Amsterdam UMC Els Nieveen van Dijkum, Heinz Josef Klumpen, Anton Engelsman and Koen Dreijink are involved in this project.