The Haematology Ward at Aalborg Hospital in northern Jutland has received DKK 8.3m (USD 1.7m) in funding from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation for a new research project, which aims to ensure that patients with lymphatic cancer are given the most effective chemotherapy treatment. The ward has gained the grant in collaboration with Medical Prognosis Institute ApS and the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Aarhus.
A pilot project will now be initiated where cancer cells from 100 patients with lymphatic cancer will be examined by means of a gene chip and an advanced mathematical model, which has been developed by Medical Prognosis Institute ApS. The objective is to find out whether the model can predict which type of chemotherapy treatment will be most optimal for the patient.
Head of the project Karen Dybkær Sørensen, molecular biologist and senior research scientist at Aalborg Hospital, said in a press release: "From a tumour sample, which has been taken before start of the treatment, you can see which genes are switched on or off by using a gene chip and advanced computer software, and our hypothesis is that from this you can predict how a tumour will respond to certain chemotherapy substances."
The overall aim is ultimately to avoid using valuable time on a medical treatment that does not work. This is important to patients' chances of surviving the disease, but Dybkær Sørensen also points out that it can help reduce expenditure on drugs from which people do not benefit.
Aalborg Hospital plans to use the new gene test during 2009 for chemotherapy treatment of patients with recurring lymphatic cancer.