“Whole genome analysis of cancer patients has been a topic of discussion for many years. Cancer is a result of DNA errors that pile up in healthy cells over the course of your life, causing the cells to divide uncontrollably. When you map out a cancer patient’s entire DNA as well as their tumor DNA, the differences between the two analyses can lead to various treatment options. Such an analysis costs 3,000 euros, which is not an outlandish amount in cancer treatment, and the price is dropping rapidly. In my PhD research, I show that a one-time analysis is all you need: a second one usually does not reveal new relevant information. These results emphasize that it is highly profitable to map out the whole genome for all cancer patients. This can help the patients themselves, and allow us to build a large database that can teach us a lot about why certain therapies are or aren’t effective in individual patients. I hope that this can convince politicians and insurance providers that it is beneficial to invest in a more elegant and personalized health care reality.”
Joris will defend his thesis on December 2.
Read the interview with Joris van de Haar by Hartwig Medical Foundation
This research was made possible by the Dutch Cancer Society, Oncode, Stelvio for Life, ZonMW and the Josephine Nefkens Foundation