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Institute of Oncology and Radiology of Serbia
3 Projects, page 1 of 1
  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 891135
    Overall Budget: 140,022 EURFunder Contribution: 140,022 EUR

    The main objective of the REPANCAN is to integrate Jelena Grahovac, PhD at the Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, as a leader of a project that will address an urgent unmet need for new treatment strategy for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). PDAC is one of the most lethal types of cancer in the world, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 5% and an increasing incidence rate. Research on PDAC is limited and progress in patient survival has not been made in the last 40 years. To circumvent the high costs and long development times for new oncological drugs, the REPANCAN project will use the drug repurposing concept and establish a novel use for a class of nischarin (NISCH) receptor agonists. NISCH receptor itself has been shown to be a tumor suppressor in breast cancer and its agonists hold promise for targeting several aspects of the PDAC pathology: cell invasiveness, survival, metabolism, and the microenvironment. To address the acute demand for novel PDAC therapy, the REPANCAN project will integrate the bioinformatic, molecular and cellular research with the retrospective patient study though 3 research objectives: 1) Examination of levels of NISCH in patient tumor samples and in vitro model systems, 2) Establishment of mechanisms by which clinically approved NISCH agonists can limit PDAC growth and 3) Retrospective analysis of effects of NISCH agonist treatment on PDAC progression in patients. To strengthen the competence of Dr Grahovac and use cutting edge technologies in REPANCAN, a secondment at Dr Peter Carmeliet’s laboratory at VIB-KU Leuven is planned. REPANCAN will establish a novel prognostic marker, novel drug target and a ground for repurposing of low-cost drugs proven to be safe in one of the most lethal and understudied types of cancer.

  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 101079217
    Overall Budget: 1,500,000 EURFunder Contribution: 1,500,000 EUR

    Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is the gold standard in locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC), but the response is not uniform among patients and improvements are currently being assessed. Profiling the response to CRT in patients with LARC would enable more adequate selection of patients who would benefit most from CRT while minimizing adverse effects and toxicity. Patients with a favorable response to CRT might be candidates for a less invasive surgical approach or for enrollment in a "watch and wait" approach in the case of a complete clinical response (cCR). This would increase their quality of life and contribute to the overall reduction of treatment cost. Identification of novel therapeutic targets might also benefit rectal cancer patients who do not respond well to neoadjuvant CRT. The main aim of the STEPUPIORS project is to establish a European consortium of research institutions dedicated to defining prognostic biomarkers in rectal cancer. Specific project objectives that would enable addressing this unmet clinical need are: Objective 1: Determine the molecular profile of response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer through a newly formed rectal cancer consortium with complementary expertise Objective 2: Strengthen the research, management and administrative abilities of the Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia (IORS) located in Belgrade, Serbia along with the establishment of a rectal cancer biobank Objective 3: Establish a long-lasting knowledge, personnel, and sample exchange between participating institutions in the rectal cancer consortium. The STEPUPIORS project aligns with Europe’s beating cancer plan and the Horizon Europe strategic plan 2021-2024 within the health cluster, through setting up a research consortium that will enable improvement of rectal cancer prognosis, monitoring and treatment and lead to better health outcomes.

  • Funder: European Commission Project Code: 734790
    Overall Budget: 1,039,500 EURFunder Contribution: 976,500 EUR

    Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide. NSCLC alone make up about 75% of all lung cancers and most hospitals currently test all NSCLC patients for EGFR mutations (pharmacogenomics) for treatment decision (personalised medicine) – i.e., patients with mutation(s) in EGFR gene should receive a EGFR-Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI) drug (e.g. afitinib) treatment; while those that do not present mutations in such gene, should be treated with chemotherapy. Currently, the laboratories use PCR and Sanger sequencing technologies to perform the EGFR analysis from tumour biopsies - Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) samples. Still, some patients (e.g., 30% in UK) may never get histological confirmation because they are too sick to make a biopsy. Furthermore, the results obtained with current methods still present low quality, mainly due to poor quality/low yield of DNA extracted from FFPE samples. The FP7 LungCARD project (www.lungcard.eu) has developed and demonstrated a LungCARD system - an automatic system composed by microfluidic chip and chip analyser - that allows to capture circulating tumour cells (CTCs) from blood samples, amplify by multiplex PCR and detect EGFR mutations, including also a software for data analysis and report. Although this new blood test has proven to be faster, cost-effective and human error-free, the detection of somatic mutations in EGFR gene at frequencies lower than 20% is still a weak point. Therefore, the main project’s goal is to benefit from this technology, through the development, improvement, integration and validation of the LungCARD system with NGS workflow and development of a software for automatic reporting clinical results. However, LungCARD project aims to go further, by putting together a global and unique network of multidisciplinary scientists for exchange of knowledge and research training focused on non-small cell lung cancer.


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