Molecular Diagnostic Programme for Better Cancer Treatment Kicks Off in Luxembourg

Institut National du Cancer announced the start of MDLUX2

On 29 October 2018, the Luxembourg’s Institut National du Cancer (INC) announced the start of MDLUX2, a molecular diagnostics programme funded by the Luxembourg’s Fondation Cancer, the Fondatioun Kriibskrank Kanner and Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg (IBBL) and implemented with the support of OncoDNA. 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. 

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. 

INC was established in 2015 as a not-for-profit organisation in the context of Luxembourg’s National Cancer Plan 2014-18. The mission of INC includes coordination of oncology care at the national level; preparation of the national treatment guidelines and design of clinical patient pathways; set-up and coordination of specialised multidisciplinary tumour boards; assessment of the quality indicators for prevention and treatment of cancer; implementation of personalised medicine approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer; assembly and moderation of actors involved in the delivery of cancer care; promotion of the national centres of competence; as well as quality marking and certification of medical establishments. INC is funded by the Ministry of Health of Luxembourg. 

OncoDNA is a private, oncology-focused healthcare technology company that combines advanced, comprehensive testing of all clinically relevant cancer biomarkers from both solid and liquid biopsies with a proprietary cancer treatment knowledge database called OncoKDO™ that continuously ‘learns’ from cutting-edge, validated, scientific and medical advances.