Each year, metastases are found in 1,500 people in the Netherlands, but the location of the original tumor is still unknown.
Diagnosis of metastatic cancer, but the location of the original tumor is not known; It happens regularly. Maastricht UMC+ is part of a research team led by Erasmus MC, which wants to improve the search for the original tumor and search for new material for this. KWF is providing more than 686,000 euros for this research.
Each year, metastases are found in 1,500 people in the Netherlands, but the location of the original tumor is still unknown. This is described as ‘primary tumor of unknown’, abbreviated PTO. Maastricht UMC+ is part of a partnership that is conducting research to improve diagnostics with a new, more sensitive material for PET-CT imaging. Doctor. Sophie Wildhuizen van Zanten (Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Erasmus MC) leads this consortium.
The role of Maastricht UMC +
On behalf of MUMC+, Dr. Joanna Nin (medical oncologist), Dr. Cristina Maitia (nuclear medicine physician), and Dr. Leo Schotten (epidemiologist/methodologist) are part of the research and participated in drafting the research proposal. Nin will include PTO patients in the study and Mitea will coordinate the treatment evaluation of these patients. Schouten is involved in the methodology of this study and has previously collaborated with Dr. Karlijn Hermans Research the causes of the PTO.
As an oncologist, Joanna Nin sees patients whose original tumor is still unknown: “Then we can’t tell where the cancer started with all our diagnostic methods. As a result, life expectancy in a PTO is only a few months. A terrible message for the patient. It’s Frustrating for practitioners: With insight into the underlying tumor, we can offer more targeted treatment and perhaps provide a better perspective. We hope this study contributes to the fact that we no longer have to diagnose PTO in the future.”
The research will be conducted in partnership – also referred to as a consortium – with patient organization Missie Tumor Unknown, Comprehensive Cancer Center Holland (IKNL), Cyclotron Noordwest BV and a working group of oncologists, radiologists and nuclear medicine specialists at seven academic and non-academic hospitals, including In that Maastricht UMC +.
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