Molecular diagnostic programme for better cancer treatment kicks off

The programme, a continuation of the previous initiative MDLUX1, aims to assess the value and feasibility of implementing molecular diagnostics tests as part of cancer care in Luxembourg, with the goal of improving the effectiveness of cancer treatment whilst supporting cancer research. Such molecular diagnostic tests are currently not reimbursed by public health insurance (National Health Fund – Caisse Nationale de Santé, CNS) in Luxembourg, hence the importance of MDLUX2 as a pilot project to evaluate their benefits for patients. Hundreds of patients are expected to benefit from the programme over three years.

A set of standardised molecular diagnostic tests will be performed on tissue samples from each patient taking part in MDLUX2. Following a European public tender, OncoDNA was successfully selected as the provider of molecular diagnostic services for the programme.  The combined solution of molecular testing and reporting platform will give clinicians an in-depth insight into the specific mutations that characterise a patient’s tumour and will provide suggestions on potential clinical trials in which patients may decide to participate.

The remaining tissue and its associated clinical data – subject to patient’s consent – will be stored at IBBL with the purpose of making them available for research studies.

“The project seeks to guide clinicians in their choice of the most appropriate treatment to be administered to each individual patient”, explains Dr Nikolai Goncharenko, Coordinator of INC. “Ultimately, our goal is to improve clinical outcomes for patients, whilst strengthening Luxembourg’s position with respect to molecular diagnostics, personalised medicine and cancer research”.

Patient enrolment in the programme will take place through local hospitals, on the recommendation of clinical multidisciplinary tumour boards. A dedicated form will allow prospective participants to consent to the molecular diagnostic test and grant their permission for their biological samples to be stored at IBBL for future research purposes.

MDLUX2 is co-sponsored by Luxembourg’s Fondation Cancer (EUR 45,000), Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner (which will cover molecular diagnostic testing for paediatric patients) and IBBL (EUR 200,000). The programme is implemented under the general coordination of INC with the support of participating hospitals.