4 November 2019

Highlights of Oncode’s Glioblastoma Workshop

On October 16th 2019, Oncode held the second in the series of clinical workshops with the aim to strengthen the link between fundamental and clinical research.

Vesna de Jong

Vesna de Jong

Vesna is a Digital Content Manager at Lygature, and is responsible for all things digital at Oncode. Originally from Slovenia, where she finished her MA in English language and literature, life led her to the Netherlands. Vesna has more than 10 years of experience in translation and localization, and has gained extensive experience of digital communications while working for one of the biggest online travel agencies.

The goal of the Glioblastoma workshop was to present current trends in clinical research, explore how fundamental research can address unmet clinical needs and stimulate new collaborations (translational and clinical) that could be eligible for Oncode funding.

Glioblastoma is an aggressive disease with a very high unmet clinical need where almost all patients experience recurrence. In the last 40 years, there has been very little progress in the area of recurrent glioblastoma, and within the field of neuro-oncology, a number of failed clinical studies have been performed.

While the Hartwig foundation performs whole genome sequencing on tumor samples, so far only a few samples have a neuro-oncological diagnosis. Access to patient material in general is seen as a challenge for the glioblastoma researchers.

Glioblastoma workshop

During the workshop, a few opportunities have been identified. One of them is to make sure that more glioblastoma patients are included in the Hartwig database and that better use is made of the currently available data. In addition, existing mouse models could be used to first test clinical ideas.

Oncode Investigator Leila Akkari (NKI), who was one of the speakers, said: “This workshop was organized as an informal and open discussion between scientists and clinicians about our scientific goals and shortcomings in glioblastoma research and treatment. With it, the opportunity was created to brainstorm and exchange ideas on alternative and innovative treatment strategies that could tackle the limited options we currently provide to glioblastoma patients with important insights from clinicians, particularly regarding the need to always seek better quality of life for patients. I strongly believe it paved the way for long lasting exchanges between fundamental and applied researchers that could lead to illuminating times ahead for clinical translation.”

Other News

Oncode PEP4
(Future) researchers and patients join forces to make true impact
For the second year in a row, Oncode’s Patient Engagement Programme had the opportunity to contribute to the bachelor course ‘Eye for Impact’ for biomedical sciences students at University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU). A unique example of how to give substance to patient engagement in basic research. Oncode researchers and patient representatives participated in a series of lectures and interactive sessions, where the students experienced first-hand how patients and researchers can partner up.
Jos Jonkers Daniel Zingg website
Unravelling genetic mechanism behind tumor formation can improve targeted treatment
New research by the group of Jos Jonkers explains variation in treatment response to FGFR2 inhibitors and provides a way to improve targeted therapy for cancer patients. Their work highlights the importance of analyzing the functional consequences of genetic variants found in tumors.
Chemotherapy speeds up DNA-level aging
Chemotherapy is an important part of treatment for children with cancer, contributing to the recovery of more and more children. Childhood cancer survivors do sometimes experience late effects from their treatment, including a higher risk of developing a second cancer. That risk is very small, but about five to six times greater than in the ‘normal’ population. In new research, published in Cancer Discovery, the team of Oncode Investigator Ruben Van Boxtel (Princess Máxima Center) shows that accelerated DNA aging turns out to be the main cause of the harmful effect of chemotherapy treatment.