Since individuals with a hereditary cancer syndrome often have multiple (cancer) risks, the care for this group is complex and needs the expertise of multiple specialisms. The Center of Familial and Hereditary Tumors brings together this expertise within the Erasmus MC and facilitates the link between research and clinic regarding these rare conditions.
Our goal is to limit the risk of cancer for individuals with a hereditary predisposition for cancer as much as possible. To achieve this we aim to:
- efficiently identify patients with a hereditary predisposition for cancer
- offer the best possible treatment to patients with a hereditary cancer based on the newest scientific insights
- supply optimal surveillance for individuals with a hereditary predisposition in order to prevent cancer or diagnose it in an early treatable stage
We continue our research on the diagnosis of hereditary cancer by focusing on individuals with unexplained suspected Lynch syndrome, using new techniques like whole genome and RNA sequencing in order to find a causative germline mutation. Also, we are still dedicated to improve insights in risks and surveillance programs for individuals with a predisposition for cancer e.g. through our national registration of families with Hereditary Breast Cancer (HEBON). We will develop new diagnostic, prognostic and predictive markers for (hereditary) cancer by next generation sequencing of cancer genomes but also studies on circulating biomarkers. A cfDNA based blood test is for example being evaluated that may detect (pre)malignancies at an early, treatable stage in individuals with inherited risks of multiple cancers.
The department of Clinical Genetics has a dedicated “education coordinator”, who did win educational prizes and is a core teacher in the Erasmus MC curriculum. He and various specialists involved in our center contribute to the bachelor and master phase of the medical study of the Erasmus University e.g. by a practicum genetic counselling for Lynch syndrome and Hereditary Breast-Ovary Cancer for 2nd year bachelor students and facultative internships at the department of Clinical Genetics. Contributions are also made to the minor Oncology, Genetics in society and others. We contribute to the Erasmus Summer and Winter program and research masters like “molecular medicine”. Apart from that we contribute to the education of medical specialists like general practitioners, gynecologists, gastroenterologists etc. at the field of hereditary cancer.