News Feed Item

New Global Initiative Aims to Improve Patient Outcomes in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

DARMSTADT, Germany, March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

  • The multidisciplinary Oncology Partnership and Education Network (OPEN) aims to improve patient outcomes in oncology, with initial focus on metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) 
  • OPEN aims to raise public awareness and understanding of the importance of biomarker testing in mCRC 

Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck, today announced the formation of the global Oncology Partnership and Education Network (OPEN). This global initiative, supported by Merck Serono, brings together a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders involved with the management of cancer to help improve patient care. Focusing on metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) as its first priority, OPEN aims to reinforce the important role biomarker testing has in personalizing care in mCRC. The launch of OPEN coincides with Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in many countries.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click:


Based on recent scientific developments in the area of biomarkers in mCRC, OPEN's first priority will be to establish a global campaign to improve awareness and understanding with the general public, patients and healthcare professionals. OPEN, chaired by Professor Ciardiello, is supported by an international steering committee of experts in the field of oncology, including healthcare professionals, patient advocacy groups and policy representatives.

"Biomarkers enable oncologists to create personalized, clinically proven treatment plans for patients right from the start in mCRC, thereby optimizing patients' chances of extended overall survival," said Professor Fortunato Ciardiello, Seconda Università di Napoli, Naples, Italy and Chair of the OPEN Steering Committee. "OPEN aims to increase public awareness of the fact that getting a biomarker test done, ideally at the time of initial diagnosis, is vital for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer to ensure they receive the most appropriate 1st-line treatment," he concluded.

Currently, 25% of patients with colorectal cancer already have an advanced stage of the disease at diagnosis, which makes it challenging to treat successfully.[1],[2] Recent developments in the field of biomarkers now allow physicians to identify those patients who are most likely to benefit from specific treatment options, based on the genetic profile of their tumor.

"Biomarkers are reliable clinical indicators that support physicians in their treatment decisions for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer," said Dr Steven Hildemann, Global Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Medical and Safety for Merck Serono. "Merck Serono is proud to be able to support OPEN in its mission to raise awareness globally of the important role biomarkers play in improving clinical outcomes for people living with mCRC."

An increased understanding of treatment options and greater involvement in decision making about their own care, together with equality of access to treatments that improve outcomes, are also core principles of the recently launched European Cancer Patient's Bill of Rights.

About Colorectal Cancer  

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cancer worldwide, with an estimated incidence of more than 1.36 million new cases annually.[3] Approximately 694,000 deaths from CRC occur every year, accounting for 8.5% of all cancer deaths and making it the fourth most common cause of death from cancer.[3] Almost 55% of CRC cases are diagnosed in developed regions of the world, and incidence and mortality rates are substantially higher in men than in women.[3]

Note to Editors: 

Please click here to view the multimedia release which includes mCRC biomarker videos and additional information.

Additional information resources for media on mCRC are available online from: http://www.globalcancernews.com


  1. Sanoff HK, et al. J Clin Oncol 2008;26(35):5721-7.
  2. Van Cutsem E, et al. Ann Oncol 2010;21(Suppl 5):v93-7.
  3. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin DM, Forman D, Bray, F. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available at: http://globocan.iarc.fr. Last accessed March 2014.

About Merck Serono 

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono.

Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurology, oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology.

For more information, please visit http://www.merckserono.com.

All Merck Press Releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Website. Please go to http://www.merckgroup.com/subscribe to register online, change your selection or discontinue this service.

Merck is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. With its four divisions Merck Serono, Consumer Health, Performance Materials and Merck Millipore, Merck generated total revenues of € 11.1 billion in 2013. Around 38,000 Merck employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to further the success of our customers and to help meet global challenges.

Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company - since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70% interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day.

Merck, Darmstadt, Germany is holding the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where the company is known as EMD.

Merck KGaA
Frankfurter Strasse 250
64293 Darmstadt
Hotline +49(0)6151-72-5000

Merck Serono is a division of Merck
Raphaela Farrenkopf
Phone +49-6151-72-2274


More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Penta Security is a leading vendor for data security solutions, including its encryption solution, D’Amo. By using FPE technology, D’Amo allows for the implementation of encryption technology to sensitive data fields without modification to schema in the database environment. With businesses having their data become increasingly more complicated in their mission-critical applications (such as ERP, CRM, HRM), continued ...
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, will contrast how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He will show the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He will also have live demos of building immutable pipe...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudbric, a leading website security provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudbric is an elite full service website protection solution specifically designed for IT novices, entrepreneurs, and small and medium businesses. First launched in 2015, Cloudbric is based on the enterprise level Web Application Firewall by Penta Security Sys...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, you'll learn about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how Docke...
Enterprises have been using both Big Data and virtualization for years. Until recently, however, most enterprises have not combined the two. Big Data's demands for higher levels of performance, the ability to control quality-of-service (QoS), and the ability to adhere to SLAs have kept it on bare metal, apart from the modern data center cloud. With recent technology innovations, we've seen the advantages of bare metal erode to such a degree that the enhanced flexibility and reduced costs that ...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Governments around the world are adopting Safe Harbor privacy provisions to protect customer data from leaving sovereign territories. Increasingly, global companies are required to create new instances of their server clusters in multiple countries to keep abreast of these new Safe Harbor laws. Is it worth it? In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director of Anexia, Inc., will discuss how to keep your data legal and still stay in business.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...