This website uses cookies

This websites contains videos from YouTube. This company uses cookies (third party cookies). If you do not want them to use these cookies, you can indicate so here. However, this does mean that you will not be able to watch videos on this website. We also make use of our own cookies in order to improve our website. We don't share our data with other parties. Which cookies are involved?

This website uses cookies to enable video and to improve the user experience. If you do not want to accept these cookies, indicate so here. Which cookies are involved?

Ga direct naar de inhoud, het hoofdmenu, het servicemenu of het zoekveld.


28Dec 2018

Back to News overview

Existing cancer drugs spread their wings

Promotie vd Velden (blauw)

What if a skin cancer drug might also work in breast cancer patients? Researchers investigate how to expand the use of existing cancer drugs to new patient groups, with the use of whole genome sequencing. Netherlands Cancer Institute researcher Daphne van der Velden describes the first results in her PhD thesis, which she defended on December 6th.

Many existing cancer drugs that are currently approved for use in a certain group of patients might also work in other patients. Therefore, the CPCT consortium started the DRUP study, in which patients receive targeted therapy or immunotherapy based on their molecular tumor profile, regardless of the location of the tumor. Netherlands Cancer Institute researcher Daphne van der Velden dedicated a large part of het PhD research to this innovative study.

Huge potential

During her PhD research one group of patients was treated with a drug that would otherwise not be available to them: nivolumab. A total of 30 patients with advanced stages of 8 different tumor types received this immunotherapy after they had their tumor DNA sequenced. The one thing their tumors had in common was a part of their molecular profile, called microsatellite instability. 20 out of 30 patients had clinical benefit from nivolumab, showing either stabilization or reduction of tumor burden. Negotiations with the Dutch health authorities are ongoing to ensure patients with this molecular profile will gain access to the drug.

So far, almost 300 patients with various tumor types have started study treatment in one of the 89 cohorts that have been opened. In each cohort, one of the 18 available study treatments is tested in a specific patient subgroup.  Van der Velden: "The potential of the DRUP-study is huge. We offer patients with no (suitable) treatment options access to potentially active and approved drugs. At the same time we gather a large amount of valuable information to help us improve targeted therapy for future patients."

Personalized treatment

The DRUP study (Drug Rediscovery Protocol) is executed on behalf of the Center for Personalized Cancer Treatment (CPCT), in which Dutch hospitals and Hartwig Medical Foundation join forces to realize personalized cancer treatment for every patient based on the genetic properties of their tumor. Study coordinator Emile Voest from the Netherlands Cancer Institute leads the study together with Henk Verheul (Amsterdam UMC/Vumc) and Hans Gelderblom (LUMC).

Read more about the DRUP study (Dutch) and CPCT.

Drup study - first cohort

Treatment: nivolumab (immunotherapy)

For whom: patients with microsatellite instable tumors

Wanneer: this part of the DRUP-study is closed

Share this page