Together to fight cancer

The World Cancer Day aims to unite the world’s population in the fight against cancer for at least one day per year. In Luxembourg, the unity is undeniable. All the more so as a tumourbank is likely to be established in the upcoming months to support cancer research.

Each year, there are an estimated 2,400 new cases of cancer in Luxembourg, the most frequent being breast, prostate, colon and skin cancer. The disease is responsible for at least a quarter of all deaths in the country and remains one of today’s main health burdens.

Luxembourg is very much concerned about this plague and has taken concrete actions in the fight against cancer. One major effort is the National Cancer Plan. Launched in 2014, its goal is to make all the local experts work hand in hand to tackle cancer on multiple fronts.

In this collaborative spirit, a large-scale collection of tumour samples is expected to be run across the country in the coming months. All hospitals (CHdN, HRS, CHL, CHEM) and the Laboratoire National de Santé will join forces and work closely with IBBL to facilitate the creation of a tumourbank, a wide collection of cancer samples and their associated data. The objective is ambitious as it is hoped that the vast majority of the patients subjected to surgery or biopsy will consent to donate any tissue that is no longer needed for their medical care.

After a medical procedure, part of the removed tumour is used to run a diagnostic test. Sometimes, a fragment remains and is eliminated despite its high value for researchers. Making these valuable materials available to the researchers would enable them to deepen their understanding of the disease and potentially develop better prevention measures, better diagnostic tests and better therapies.

In brief, the future collaboration holds great promises both for the scientific community, and for the population in general, especially for people affected by cancer.

To be continued…

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