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The hide-and-seek expert

Everybody played hide-and-seek as a kid. Although young, Lasse - head of the BIOMETSCO project - is not a kid anymore. But he still plays hide-and-seek. Or mostly just ‘seek’. Who’s hiding, you may ask? We’ll tell you whom: The colon cancer cells that run away from home.

The get-away cancer cells

About 1 person out of 20 will develop colorectal cancer. At the time of diagnosis, 1 out of 5 patients already have cancer cells that have spread to other places in the body. These get-away cancer cells (or metastases, if you like) are often very difficult to find. Sometimes the doctors don’t even know they’re hiding.

This is why Lasse is playing hide-and-seek with the get-away cancer cells:

  1. IS THE GAME ON? The doctors must be able to tell, if some cancer cells are hiding. Otherwise, the hide-and-seek game cannot begin.
  2. WHO’S PLAYING? When you’re playing hide-and-seek, you want to know who’s in the game. You can’t go looking for someone, if you don’t know what they look like, right?

Lasse is thus trying to help the doctors find out if there are get-away cancer cells and what they look like.

Not seeking on his own

Now this might sound like a big task for one man. It is! And that’s why Lasse is not the only one ‘seeking’ in this round of hide-and-seek. He has teamed up with collaborators from Aarhus University, AstraZeneca, BioXpedia, NanoString Technologies and omiics. Together they are working hard to find out what the get-away cancer cells look like. When they find out, they will tell everyone else. Hopefully, this will help others looking for the get-away cells.