Belgian finds quicker way to track success of chemotherapy


A major technological advancement has been made in assessing the efficacy of chemotherapy in cancer patients, and a young Belgian whiz kid has everything to do with it.

That Belgian is Célestin de Wergifosse, whose startup Signatur Biosciences aims to develop “simple blood tests for complex diseases.” One such complex disease, and sadly a prevalent one; is breast cancer. A genome test is typically conducted to verify whether a chemotherapy treatment has been successful...but Signatur has an alternative.

These genome tests are pricey and can take a while, as few are qualified and able to run the test. That changes thanks to de Wergifosse and his colleagues, Dr. John Goertz and Professor Molly Stevens. These great minds found a way for a simple PCR – yes, we’re talking about the same test that has been used during the pandemic -- to shed light on whether a chemo treatment has worked.

As a result, instead of a small number of people qualified to process these extremely important tests, virtually any lab can now test for those markers and put cancer survivors out of the misery of waiting so long to find out whether the chemotherapy was effective.

Congratulations to this young Belgian and his colleagues for such an important invention!