Edwin Cuppen

Personalization session14.30-16.00


Edwin Cuppen is scientific director of the Hartwig Medical Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve cancer care by systematic whole genome sequencing analysis of tumors. Edwin is also professor of Human Genetics at the Center for Molecular Medicine of the University Medical Center in Utrecht and invited member of the virtual national cancer research organisation Oncode Institute. After his undergraduate and PhD training at Wageningen University and Radboud University Nijmegen as a molecular biologist, he held research and group leader positions at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and the Hubrecht Institute. His current research focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of de novo genetic variation, specifically in relation to cancer, by using systematic genomics and data integration approaches.

Tumor whole genome sequencing for personalized cancer treatment 

Next-generation DNA sequencing has boosted the promises of personalising cancer treatment by making it possible to routinely sequence the complete genome of a patient's tumor. Treatment opportunities are also growing with an increasing number of targeted drugs approaching the clinic, thereby driving diagnostic needs. However, the high rates of overtreatment due to relatively low drug response rates in oncology, in combination with the associated high costs, create a strong need for discovery of more informative biomarkers.  

The Hartwig Medical Foundation (HMF) aims to address these patient, clinical and societal needs by systematic whole genome sequencing (WGS) of metastatic tumors provided by hospitals across the Netherlands. The WGS data is used to support treatment decisions through an advanced patient report with therapy guidance, including reference to experimental and off-label biomarker-based therapy.  

In addition, clinical and treatment response data is collected and - in combination with the genomic information - made available for scientific research for biomarker discovery and to advance cancer care for future patients.  

In collaboration with IKNL, PALGA and BBMRI/HealthRI we are working on coupling longitudinal patient information (national cancer registry) and pathology data with the HMF database to further increase research opportunities. 

Presentation Edwin Cuppen (PDF)