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Unique research

We have divided our research into six substantial programs (focal points). Hereby we are accelerating on six medical topics . We work according to the principles of Open Science. Some examples of unique, trailblazing research in 2022 are:

Stem-cell therapy for brain-damaged newborns

Researchers and doctors at UMC Utrecht are developing a new form of stem-cell therapy for newborns with brain damage due to a cerebral infarction . The purpose of the treatment is to support the natural recovery capacity of a baby’s brain. The recently completed clinical study shows that mesenchymal stem cells can be administered safely to newborns via nose drops. The findings of the research groups were published in June 2022 in The Lancet Neurology .

Earlier detection of cardiovascular diseases Check@home

The large-scale research program ‘Check@home’ came off the ground in four regions in the Netherlands. This study investigates whether home-testing can allow the timely detection of cardiovascular diseases, kidney disorders, and diabetes among people aged 50 to 75. The Check@Home study is an initiative of the Dutch Heart Foundation, the Dutch Kidney Foundation, the Dutch Diabetes Fund, and the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance (DCVA), and will continue for five years. The study leaders are from UMC Utrecht and UMC Groningen.

Scaling down rheumatism medication with the help of artificial intelligence

Watch the video on using data science to safely phase out rheumatoid arthritis medications.

Once the disease process of rheumatism patients has been brought under control through medication, the latter is scaled down. But with scaling down of medication, there is unfortunately always the risk that rheumatic symptoms will increase again. To reduce the risk of such a flare, UMC Utrecht has made use ofartificial intelligence to develop a computer model , which is now being studied.

Predicting whether chemotherapy will be effective for breast cancer

Breast cancer researchers at UMC Utrecht have discovered that a certain protein can predict whether a course of chemotherapy will be effective for aggressive breast cancer . Women with breast cancer and a high level of FER protein have a greater chance of successful treatment with taxane chemotherapy. This was discovered in a trial that was published at the beginning of April 2022 in the renowned scientific journal Cell Reports .

Predicting cognitive problems

Vascular damage to white matter in the brain can cause various cognitive problems, for example in people’s language ability or memory. Researchers at UMC Utrecht have developed smart software that can predict through brain scans of this type of damage which problems the patients will encounter . The model will initially be useful especially for patients who come to the memory clinic and who therefore often already have ailments. The researchers hope that the software can late also be used for people who are not yet suffering from anything.