Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common cancer in the oral cavity. OSCC starts as a painless white patch, that thickens, develops red patches, an ulcer, and continues to aggressively grow. Development of Stage 1 to Stage 4 can take a matter of weeks. As the lesion starts very innocently, the disease is often discovered at a late stage, resulting in high mortality. Moreover patients that have had OSCC have a 40% chance of recurrence. When detected early, long-term survival is 80%. However, for recurrent disease there is limited options for non-invasive monitoring of relapse.


In the Netherlands, after a patient is successfully treated for OSCC, one PET scan is performed after 3 months. Further testing is invasive and will only be done if symptoms arise. Due to the aggressive nature of the cancer and the high chance of recurrence within 2 years of treatment, there is a need for non-invasive methods to enable early detection and improve patient outcome and even survival.


ROSCO is a diagnostic test to determine recurrent OSCC from a simple oral brush sample. A gentle brush takes a few cells from the suspected OSCC site, to check for methylation markers of recurrent OSCC. Earlier detection of OSCC recurrence will reduce mortality and reduce operation costs.


A multi-centre trial is currently ongoing in Italy with promising first clinical results. A larger pan-European validation will take place (incl. Italy and The Netherlands) for which we are identifying collaboration partners. Patent applications are pending.

Meet the team

luca morandi

Luca Morandi



Evert Küppers

Venture Partner at NLC

Pharmaceutical executive with over 18 years of successful practice in different, international work settings (large pharma, biotech start-up, pharma management consultancy) performing hands-on corporate tasks (Operations, BusDev./licensing, fundraising, org).