"WE ARE DEVELOPING NEW THERAPIES TAILORED TO EACH INDIVIDUAL PATIENT."

WHY ARE WE ESTABLISHING THIS FUND?

In Belgium, more than 60,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Across Europe, that figure tops 3.2 million annually. Innovative cancer research is of vital importance. Each patient is unique, as is each tumour. That is why we are working to develop ‘personalised therapies’. The goal of the approach is to arrive at new, effective, patient-specific treatment options in order to stay one step ahead of this life-threatening disease. To take up this pioneering role, we need extra financial support.

TOWARD PERSONALISED THERAPIES

We want to focus on developing ‘personalised cancer therapies’. A personalised or individualised cancer treatment is a treatment plan tailored to the patient and to the individual molecular characteristics of each tumour. Personalised therapies give each patient the best chances to beat cancer and minimises side effects. Cancer specialists worldwide agree that personalised therapies hold significant promise.

NEW RESEARCH MODELS

To develop and implement a personalised therapy, we need to know as much as possible about the tumour itself. Within each tumour type, there are several different subtypes. Some types react differently to a given treatment than others. We need new, strong research models to accurately determine whether a patient’s tumour responds to specific targeted therapy. Only then can the therapy be used in a personalised treatment. 

TODAY

Today there are different ways to treat cancer depending on the type of cancer, the severity of the disease, the size of the tumour, the age of the patient and his or her general state of health.

A treatment can be curative, neoadjuvant, adjuvant or palliative. A curative treatment aims to cure the patient. A neoadjuvant treatment is a treatment given prior to any other treatment. Reducing the size of a tumour in order to make it easier to remove in a subsequent operation is one example of this. An adjuvant treatment is given alongside another treatment. For example, chemotherapy is often given after surgery and is intended to reduce the risk of relapse. A palliative treatment is given to patients who no long have the ability to heal and focuses solely on improving the patient's quality of life. Existing treatment types can thus be employed individually or in combination.