Project introduction and objectives

Due to the aging population, cancer is emerging as a major global burden. Indeed, cancer is now the number one cause of death in the Netherlands, with 100,000 new cases diagnosed and more than 40,000 deaths annually. Current drug treatment of metastatic cancer is ineffective: only one in four patients derives benefit from anti-cancer drugs. The last two to three decades has taught us that cancer results from multiple genetic defects and that such defects are often dissimilar in individuals suffering from the same type of cancer. While this explains the heterogeneous response to anti-cancer agents of patients suffering from apparently similar cancers, it provides at the same time a huge obstacle for the effective treatment of cancer.

In recent years, treatment of cancer has been shifting from a “one size fits all” approach to a more personalized approach, in which the patient is treated according to the specific defects present in the individual tumor. This transition is enabled by two major developments: first, the ability to rapidly sequence the DNA of cancers at low cost, which is starting to generate inventories of genetic defects in individual cancers; and second, the development of highly selective cancer therapeutics, which act on the products of the genes that are mutated in cancer. These 'magic bullets' provide targeted treatment options for patients with a defined genotype. However, despite this progress, intrinsic heterogeneity of the tumor and tumor plasticity frequently and rapidly results in resistance to the applied drugs.

The mission of the consortium is to determine and understand genetic alterations in individual tumors in order to deliver precision medicine to individual cancer patients.

Our ambition is to significantly improve life expectancy and quality of life for cancer patients and to provide multidisciplinary training for the next generation of cancer researchers and specialists. brings together prominent cancer research groups from seven research institutions in the Netherlands. The scientists were selected on the basis of their excellence and their commitment to the mission of the program. A number of participants have been long-standing collaborators, in particular through the Cancer Genomics Center (CGC) that was supported by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI) from 2002 until 2012.

In the program, we combine the expertise, knowledge and infrastructure of internationally established as well as junior basic scientists and clinicians from seven research institutions in the Netherlands to

1) understand how specific genetic changes in individual tumors determine tumor behavior, including their responses to cancer drugs, and

2) bring this new knowledge into the clinic.


18 Nov 2016

Gogola wins CGC poster award

On November 18th, Ewa Gogola (NKI) was awarded with the CGC poster award 2016. Eva received the award during the KIT meeting on Genomic Instability in Cancer for her poster entitled 'Loss of PARG causes PARP inhibitor resistance in BRCA2-deficient mouse mammary tumors'.

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03 Apr 2016 at Science in the city

You can find researchers at Utrecht's Culturele Zondag. Perform some experiments yourself at the Domplein or listen to some lectures at the Winkel van Sinkel

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11 Mar 2016

Peter Friedl wins ESMI award participant Peter Friedl has been awarded with the 2016 Award of the European Society for Molecular Imaging          

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31 May - 02 Jun 2017

Workshop: Functional Analysis of Sequence Variants in Hereditary Breast- and Ovarian Cancer Genes

Improving Genetic Counseling and Cancer Treatment Strategies

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07 Apr 2017

DNA-lab day 2017

We host a DNA-lab day for high school teachers in the Reehorst, Ede together with other mobile DNA labs. During the day teachers can learn about new developments in DNA technology. Teachers can participate in workshops and practicals developed for high school students about DNA technology and societal challenges (Dutch only).

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13 Jan 2017

Annual meeting CGC 2017

All researchers are welcome, however registration is required.

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