Decrease Colorectal Cancer Death (DeCoDe)

At a Glance
  • Status: Completed Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2008
  • Initiating Organization: Center for Translational Molecular Medicine
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • Disease focus:
  • Location: Europe


There is a global consensus among colorectal cancer (CRC) experts that the most promising strategies to relieve these burdens and decrease CRC rates are early detection and staging strategies and personalized therapies based upon individual tumor characteristics. The DeCoDe project aims to address these gaps in the CRC care cycle by translating recent biological and technological advances into clinical applications and practice. For molecular early diagnosis and pre-cancer detection, it will develop and validate biomarkers in stool deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and serum/tumor samples to develop genomic and proteomics tests as well as molecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)–based virtual colonoscopy. Molecular stool and serum tests will be validated in a series of up to 5,000 individuals (both population screening and clinical) undergoing the gold standard test, colonoscopy.


To achieve early molecular diagnosis and pre-cancer detection, the DeCoDe project aims to identify new methylated DNA and protein-based CRC biomarkers and validate them in stool and serum samples of large cohorts, as well as to develop molecular MRI-based virtual colonoscopy. Clinical needs in patients with primary CRC will be addressed by developing image-guided surgery and DNA copy number and methylation-based biomarkers for predicting risk of recurrence and response to drug therapy. In patients with metastatic CRC, DNA copy number and methylation-based biomarkers for predicting response to anti-cancer drug therapy are being developed. In addition, novel biomarkers will be further developed into new positron emission tomography (PET) tracers.

Consortium History

Sept. 1, 2008: Start date
Aug. 31, 2013: End date


The project budget is €18.6 million.

Funding, via the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine, is provided by the Dutch government, industry, and academia. The research is focused firmly on the translational aspects of molecular medicine so that results can be applied as quickly as possible to actual patient care.

Sponsors & Partners

Gerrit A. Meijer
Principal Investigator

Eric Caldenhoven
Program Manager Oncology
phone: +31 (0)40 800 23 05

Academic Medical Center Amsterdam (AMC)

Cyclotron VU


Erasmus MC

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Leiden University Medical Center

Maastricht UMC


MRC Holland





VU University Medical Center Amsterdam

Last Updated: 04/14/2016

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