Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

Recognising renal cancer in urine

Prognosis REnal CancEr and Detection (PRECEDE): Enhancing diagnosis and risk-stratification of renal cell carcinoma

Current patient management in renal cell carcinoma could be improved by a better and earlier diagnosis, and a better recognition of high-risk patients. Although urinary biomarkers have been described and even implemented in other urological cancers, these studies are scarce for renal cell carcinoma. Therefore, Maastricht University and MDxHealth have joined forces to identify and develop these urinary biomarkers for renal cell carcinoma.

Renal cancer is the 7th most common cancer, with an estimated 338,000 new patients worldwide in 2012. Despite innovations in screening and treatment, survival rates range between 81% in early stage to 8-12% in distant metastasised renal cell carcinoma, indicating that early detection and accurate risk-stratification are the key to higher survival rates. Even though some risk-stratification models exist that can be used for the prediction of patient outcome, patients with similar risk scores still can have very divergent outcomes, indicating that there still is a lot of room for improvement. Addition of biomarkers could improve the predictive value of these models. 

In this study, a novel biomarker identification approach, only yielding the most clinically relevant biomarkers, is combined with a biomarker source that has not been extensively studied in renal cell carcinoma yet. In addition, the collaboration with a specialised healthcare company specialised in developing and implementing molecular cancer tests, will enable a swift translation of research results into clinical practice. Identifying urine biomarkers for renal cell carcinoma and translating results in a molecular test ready for use in clinical practice, would enable a better and earlier diagnosis of renal cancer, and an improved recognition of patients at high risk of recurrence.

The collaboration with MDxHealth, a molecular diagnostics leader in urological oncology, ensures a swift translation of research results into a commercially available molecular test for diagnosis and risk-stratification in renal cell carcinoma.