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SU2C-Dutch Cancer Society Colorectal Cancer Dream Team: Molecular Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer (MEDOCC)

Gerrit A. Meijer, MD, PhD

Gerrit A. Meijer, MD, PhD

Group leader, Translational Gastrointestinal Oncology
Netherlands Cancer Institute

Victor E. Velculescu, MD, PhD

Victor E. Velculescu, MD, PhD

Co-director of Cancer Biology and Professor of Oncology
Johns Hopkins University Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer (after lung and breast) and the fourth leading cause of death from cancer around the world. Patients can be effectively treated when the tumor is detected and removed early; however, colorectal cancer tends to develop without symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage. Screening is the most effective strategy against colorectal cancer. Although testing for blood in stool (using a test called FIT) is the standard approach, urgent improvements are needed as many cancers and precancerous lesions are missed by this test.

The goal of the Dream Team is to develop, validate, and evaluate the diagnostic performance and cost-effectiveness of molecular biomarkers and to translate these assays into clinical applications for CRC.

The Dream Team’s first aim is to improve the current FIT screening test by looking for more specific tumor-related molecules in stool samples. Their second aim is to develop a molecular blood test to help identify patients who will benefit from chemotherapy after surgery. 

Amount Of Funding

€6 million (~$8 million)


  • ​Manon van Engeland, PhD, program leader in oncology, Maastricht University Medical Center
  • Ernst J. Kuipers, MD, PhD, professor of gastroenterology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Evelien Dekker, MD, PhD, professor of gastrointestinal oncology, Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Miriam Koopman, MD, PhD, medical oncologist, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands


  • ​Jolien C.M. Pon
  • Marcia K. Horn