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Research & Innovation

Read more about the cooperative Research and Innovation projects

Three Erasmus MC Efficiency Studies have granted funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)

The THumb osteoarthritis Exercise TriAl (THETA); a multicenter, randomized controlled trial on exercise therapy with an orthosis compared to an orthosis alone in patients with thumb base osteoarthritis
Drs. Robbert Wouters (Dept. of Rehabilitation Medicine)
The THETA-study will investigate the effect of combination therapy (splint and exercise therapy) in patients with thumb joint base arthrosis, and compare it to splint therapy alone. This study will specifically investigate whether this combination treatment will result in a stronger reduction of pain complaints and if there is a difference in the number of patients that will still need a surgery after therapy.

How should we treat a patient with a distal radius fracture after closed reduction? A cluster RCT
Dr. Joost Colaris (Dept. of Orthopedics)
This project will assess whether broken wrists are more efficiently held together by a forearm plaster instead of a forearm splint.

The SIX (Shoulder Injection and eXercise) Study: A pragmatic study for the treatment of persistent shoulder pain in primary care
Dr. Jos Runhaar (Dept. of General Medicine)
This project will investigate whether exercise therapy is more effective than corticosteroid injections in patients with persisting shoulder complaints.


Longfonds awards Consortium Grant to Marlies Wijsenbeek

Sarcoidosis is a multisystem, granulomatous disorder, most commonly affecting the lungs. Symptom burden is high, and quality of life (QoL) and social participation are negatively affected. Prednisone is currently the first-choice therapy in pulmonary sarcoidosis and leads to short-term improvement of lung function. Unfortunately, prednisone has major side-effects and is associated with impaired QoL. Methotrexate is presently the second-line therapy, and it appears to have fewer side-effects.

Wijsenbeek and colleagues hypothesize that first-line treatment with methotrexate is as effective as prednisone, with fewer side-effects and better QoL. In a prospective, randomized, non-blinded, multi-center, non-inferiority trial they will investigate effectiveness and tolerability of methotrexate versus prednisone as first-line therapy in pulmonary sarcoidosis and aim to obtain novel insights in course of disease and treatment response by studying known biomarkers as well as new, potentially valuable markers. If the study confirms the hypothesis that methotrexate is as effective as prednisone as first line treatment for sarcoidosis, this will initiate a change in practice and international guidelines, and to improvement of care.

Click here for the press release by the Longfonds.

Dr. Sinno Simons, Prof.dr. Karel Allegaert and Prof.dr. Irwin Reiss have received €2.2 million from ZonMw Goed Gebruik Geneesmiddelen for their project "Doxapram to protect preterm newborns: an international double blinded multicenter randomized placebo controlled trial"
Preterm birth is the most common cause of neonatal death and related to important long term morbidity. Invasive mechanical ventilation is often needed after preterm birth because of underdeveloped lungs and breathing center, but is related to impaired outcome. Today, invasive mechanical ventilation is therefore minimized in preterm infants. The newborns' own breathing is supported with non-invasive support with air and oxygen, and the breathing is stimulated with caffeine treatment. Unfortunately, apnea and oxygen desaturations often remain a problem in preterm infants. The desaturations and fluctuations in oxygen potentially affect the brain and its development.
Treatment with doxapram provides a promising solution in addition to standard of care for these infants. Doxapram is increasingly used off-label in our neonatal intensive care units. However, high quality research on efficacy and safety on the long term perspective of doxapram is missing, and urgently needed. This study by Simons and colleagues is a unique multicenter double blinded randomized placebo controlled trial, designed to determine if doxapram is able to protect newborns on the long term perspective. The study aims to provide the highly needed knowledge about doxapram - if doxapram proves to be effective and safe, its use can be implemented into (inter)national guidelines.

Click here for more information (only available in Dutch).

  Alliantie Nederland RookvrijAlliantie Nederland Rookvrij Onderzoeksoproep Tabaksontmoedigingsbeleid
Expansion of smoke-free zones: how does this protect children and what does it take to introduce them in the Netherlands?

In this study funded by the Alliantie Nederland Rookvrij , Jasper Been and colleagues will investigate how smoke-free areas can be optimally introduced and maintained, based on knowledge from other countries, among other things.
The results of the project will be discussed with politicians in The Hague and in municipalities, health funds, researchers, and with administrators of hospitals and schools, for example. They also will be shared via videos and social media. In this way, the project will help ensure that smoke-free areas are introduced as effectively as possible in the future.

Click here for more information.
NWO-ENW Open Competition Klein - Anatomical and functional dissection of cerebellar vermis-fastigial nucleus module in delay eyeblink conditioning
One of the most important issues in neuroscience concerns the way in which our brain receives sensory input from the body, processes it, and then produces the right motor output. This study by Zhenyu Gao will make use of Pavlovian "eyeblink" conditioning, a behavioral model that is ideal for studying the cerebellar mechanisms involved in sensorimotor learning. In this project, the researchers will investigate the exact role of a previously neglected cerebellar route involved in "eyeblink" conditioning. If this goal is achieved, the results will reveal the existence of a new cerebellar pathway involved in learning and in performing a well-defined cerebellar learning task. This could potentially add important new information to the conceptual framework associated with sensorimotor learning in the cerebellum.

Click here for more information.
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  KWF-logo5 Erasmus MC researchers have received funding from the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) for their research projects

Five Erasmus MC researchers have received funding totaling €2,315,399.28 from the Dutch Cancer Society for their research projects. The happy recipients are Dr. Peter Valk (Dept. of Hematology), Dr. Stefan Sleijfer (Dept. of Medical Oncology), Dr. Eline Bunnik (Dept. of Public Health), Dr. Yann Seimbille (Dept. of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine) and Dr. John Martens (Dept. of Medical Oncology). Their research projects will investigate: better prediction of recurrent tumors with molecular minimal residual disease detection in patients with acute myeloid leukemia, sensitive detection of circulating tumor cells to detect residual disease in breast cancer patients after 5y of additional hormone therapy, ethical access and payment models for expensive and novel cancer treatments, long-working SSTR-antagonists and pre-targeted alpha-therapy for a more safe and efficient treatment of neuro-endocrine tumors, assessment of most appropriate blood test to monitor the disease in breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

The mission of the Dutch Cancer Society is to combat cancer, improve survival, and improve patient's quality of life. The Dutch Cancer Society invests in cancer research, since they believe that cancer rates can only be reduced by better understanding of the disease.

Dutch National Research Agenda  - Research on Routes by Consortia funding for three Erasmus MC projects

In the 2018-2019 round of funding for the Dutch National Research Agenda (NWA-ORC), Erasmus MC is active in three consortia, and is project leader for two of them.

SYMPHONY: Orchestrating personalised treatment for patients with bleeding disorders granted
Amount rewarded: 4.1 million euros

In SYMPHONY, a NWA project led by Marjon Cnossen from Erasmus MC, patients, doctors and scientists work together to personalise treatment in bleeding disorders by a patient-orchestrated approach. Harmonisation of efforts to improve laboratory tests, treatment, and understanding of blood clot formation, will show which treatment is best for each individual patient.

Preparing for vector-borne virus outbreaks in a changing world: a One Health Approach
Amount rewarded: 9 million euros
The Netherlands, with its dense population of humans and livestock, international transport and travel hubs, and water-dominated landscape is particularly vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks. The consortium led by Marion Koopmans from Erasmus MC aims to understand if and how changes in climate, farming, water management and travel lead to mosquito-borne disease outbreaks, in order to be better prepared.

Optoacoustic sensor and ultrasonic microbubbles for dosimetry in proton therapy
Amount rewarded: 1.7 million euros

Radiation therapy with X-ray is the standard for cancer treatment. In contrast to X-ray therapy, proton therapy treats only the tumour without damaging the surrounding tissue. In this proposal, a large consortium led by Nico the Jong of TU Delft and including among others Erasmus MC, will use microbubbles and a new very sensitive optical-ultrasound receiver, to exactly monitor the exact position and dose of the proton-beam, which is essential for optimal treatment.

For more information, see the original press release by NWO here

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Deep learning MR only Radiation Therapy

More than half of all cancer patients receive radiotherapy as (part of their) treatment. With radiotherapy therapy tumors are irradiated precisely with very high doses, while the surrounding healthy tissues are spared to the highest extend. The preparation of the treatment requires often both a CT scan and MRI scan and takes 2 to 3 weeks. In this project we are using silent MRI scanning in combination with artificial intelligence (deep learning) to speed up the time to treatment, make the treatment even more precise and create more patient comfort. Find more about the project on the website.

 The NutriPROGRAM consortium coordinated by Dr. Janine Felix has been granted €1.4 million by the Joint Programming Initiative Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life
Assistant professor Janine Felix and her colleagues will investigate the relationship between maternal and child diet, and health in later life. This project is a collaboration of the Department of Pediatrics in the Generation R Study and research groups from e.g. The Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany and Canada.

Please click here for more information

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Two Erasmus MC Open Technology programme projects awarded

Vascular Signature Mapping of Brain Tumor Genotypes
For the diagnosis and optimal management of primary brain tumors brain surgery is required to obtain tumor tissue for analysis. In this project, Marion Smits and colleagues from Erasmus MC and LUMC join forces with two of the main MRI scanner vendors (GE, Philips) to address the thus far unmet need to characterize brain tumors in such detail, that it will eventually no longer be necessary for patients to undergo brain surgery solely to obtain tissue for diagnosis. The project will deliver 1. Novel diagnostic MRI technology to establish the tumor genotype non-invasively, and 2. computer-aided diagnostic approach to classify the tumor automatically. By working closely together with the scanner vendors as well as Quantib BV, an SME specialized in bringing diagnostic markers to the consumer market, the opportunity to valorize the outcome of the research project is maximized.

Three-dimensional Ultrasound Imaging Through Compressive Spatial Coding (TOUCAN)
3D ultrasound is a very powerful imaging technique, but the equipment is complex and expensive. Hans Bosch and colleagues will develop smart compressive coding masks to make 3D ultrasound imaging cheap and widely applicable. This will lead to new applications where wearable ultrasound sensors can be used to monitor organs such as the carotid artery and the brain in both humans and animals for long periods of time.

For more Research and Innovation Projects, click here