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About Us

The research group

In 2007, the tumor-stroma ratio (TSR) was discovered by dr. Wilma Mesker from the dept. Surgery of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). Since then, a lot of research and validation studies into TSR has been done all over the world. The UNITED study was designed to review the reproducibility of the scoring method and implementation of the TSR in daily practice.

The daily research group of the study consists of Meaghan Polack (PhD candidate) and Wilma Mesker (Principal Investigator), and is led by head of the dept. Surgery Prof. Rob Tollenaar. They are supported by the Clinical Research Center of the dept. Surgery at the LUMC. Within this research, there is a close collaboration with the dept. Pathology in the LUMC.



Thanks to all our participating centers, the UNITED study has been able to include patients worldwide. Recently, a new collaboration with another study has been set up too, and more centers and patients have been included: The Prospective Dutch CRC cohort (PLCRC). Also, we are included as open study under the Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group (DCCG).

The UNITED study is now also registered on the BBMRI-NL Catalogue, a searchable database containing information on several Dutch bio- and databanks.


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Leuven University

For the Quality assessment program there is a collaboration with prof. Els Dequeker from the Leuven University in Belgium. They are well acquainted with Quality assessment programs (for the European society of Pathology or ESP) and will support us in the development of the program.

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Radboud University Nijmegen

To automate scoring TSR there is a collaboration with dr. Jeroen van der Laak from the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen.