About half of the patients with colon cancer have or get metastases to the liver. In some of these patients, doctors can remove the metastases by surgery. Unfortunately, in about half of the patients operated on, the cancer returns within a year. This research wants to develop a blood test that predicts in which patients the disease will return soon after surgery. This blood test recognizes certain markings on pieces of DNA from cancer cells (so-called DNA methylation). The researchers hope that, based on the presence of these markings, they can predict whether the cancer will return soon. Patients with a high risk of return may receive additional treatment after surgery.
If the test is successful the treatment of the patient can be adjusted to the risk that the cancer returns. If successful, it may also be used with other cancers in the future.