Funding boost for cancer research in Limburg

Summary

Flanders’ cancer fund Kom op tegen kanker has distributed a grant of more than €800,000 to help Limburg scientists improve cancer therapies

Practical applications

The cancer fund Kom op tegen kanker has given €833,000 to the Limburg Clinical Research Program. The funding is a major boost for the programme run by Hasselt University (UHasselt), Jessa Hospital and East Limburg Hospital (ZOL) in Genk.

The funding is directed at two large-scale, four-year research projects focused on improved diagnosis and treatment, for lung and breast cancer in particular.

Professor Michiel Thomeer and his team will receive €437,000 for research customised treatments of lung cancer. They will focus on finding biomarkers – substances in the blood that indicate the presence of disease – to detect the risk of relapse. 

“Many risky and expensive surgeries could be avoided with a biomarker that predicts whether a patient will relapse within a year after surgery,” explained Thomeer in a statement.

The other €396,000 goes to research led by professor Jeroen Mebis focusing on whether low-level light therapy can prevent radiation burns among patients with breast, head and neck cancer. Improving this technique could increase the efficiency of radiotherapy treatment. 

These studies can “in a relatively short time contribute to the quality of life and chance of survival of cancer patients,” said Marc Michils, director of Kom op tegen kanker.

Photo courtesy ZOL