Tuesday, 2 February 2016 - 09:55
Dutch develop DNA database for customized cancer treatments
The Hartwig Medical Foundation launched a large cancer database containing DNA information on cancer patients in Amsterdam on Monday. The idea behind the database is that each patient can get customized cancer treatments based on their DNA, news wire ANP reports. "We want to be able to see: if you have these faults in your DNA, drug A or B or C or D works better. Every patient receives his own treatment", Emile Voest, oncologist at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital and involved in the database, explained to the news wire. A tumor occurs when the DNA in a cell changes and the cell begins to divide uncontrollably. The database contains both patients' healthy DNA and tumor cells. That shows which changes occurred, and according to Voest, makes oncologists able to connect each patient with the best treatment. "We follow it from beginning to end. Then you see patterns. Who responds to which treatment. In that way you can work towards a personalized treatment." he said. The database currently contains DNA information for about a thousand patients. In the coming years the intention is to expand that to about 7 thousand patients.