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Bad Essen, Germany

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.08M | Year: 2015

Approximately 45-60% of all cancer patients are treated with radiotherapy. Some of these patients have a good outcome, but in other cases their illness fails to be cured. This may result from distant metastases or from regrowth of the primary tumor. This training network is built on the premise that considerable advances in understanding radiobiology will open novel routes for effective therapeutic intervention with biological targets to improve the outcome of cancer treatment; this progress requires a European-wide effort. This network of radiobiologists, clinicians and scientists with complementary expertise will stimulate outstanding science, meeting the high demand for excellent young academics enhancing Europes competitive capability in this highly relevant but underrepresented and fragmented research area. We will strengthen collaborations and technological platforms to develop effective therapeutic strategies for cancer. The failure to eliminate the primary cancer can be placed into 2 categories: the radioresistance of the tumor and the sensitivity of surrounding normal tissue; and the effects of the tumor microenvironment leading to greater overall resistance and altering the immune response to the tumor. This will be combined with translational work designed to identify and implement new therapeutic strategies for use in radiotherapy. Students will benefit from the expertise of the whole, both academic and industrial including unique research technologies that will now be available throughout the network, including a variety of screening platforms, methodology for preclinical cancer therapy and novel radiation and imaging technologies. The European community will benefit from the pursuit of innovative hypotheses, training of new researchers, and dissemination of knowledge. By combating a major death-related disease in Europe this project will raise health and bring long-term benefit to the European and international community.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.19M | Year: 2014

Graves orbitopathy (GO), also known as thyroid eye disease, affects approximately 3 million people in Europe with an estimated socioeconomic burden of 6.4 billion euros per annum. GO is a complication of Graves disease which is an autoimmune disease and the commonest cause of an overactive thyroid gland. The treatment of GO remains unsatisfactory and the majority of patients report long-term impairment of quality of life. To improve the outcomes of people with GO and thus reduce long-term illness and cost to society, research is needed to address the identification of risk factors, develop a better understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease, devise approaches for early diagnosis during the pre-clinical stage of the disease, and create novel and safe interventions. INDIGO will refine and optimise animal and in vitro models of Graves disease and GO, which are urgently required to facilitate the study of the pathogenesis of GO. INDIGO will address the identification of risk factors for the initiation and perpetuation of autoimmunity that causes disease, using the latest generation technologies to study variations in the microbiome in Graves and GO patients and controls. The interaction of the gut derived antigens, from micro-organisms and nutrients on the autoimmune response in both the animal model by probiotic and contra-biotic intervention. State of the art technology will be used to search for biomarkers that will identify patients that will progress to GO, during the preclinical phase of the disease when intervention is most likely to be successful. The successful completion of the project will be ensured by a partnership involving 2 SMEs, 3 academic institutions and the European Group on Graves Orbitopathy, each contributing complementary expertise and technology, the project will involve 5 secondments and 3 recruitments that will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and training.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-32-2014 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2015

This proposal addresses the call topic Advancing bioinformatics to meet biomedical and clinical needs (PHC-32-2014), with the focus on the standardization, dissemination and meta-analysis of cell migration data. Cell migration is the fundamental process in medically highly relevant topics, including morphogenesis, immune function, wound healing, and cancer metastasis, and the study of cell migration thus has a direct impact on major clinical applications, especially regarding personalized treatment and diagnosis. Over the last few years, cell migration research has benefited enormously from advances in methodology and instrumentation, allowing multiplexing and multi-parameter post-processing of cell migration analyses to become widely used. As cell migration studies have thus de facto become both a high-content as well as a high-throughput science, an urgent yet largely unmet bioinformatics need has emerged in the form of intra- and inter-lab data management solutions, standardization and dissemination infrastructure, and novel approaches and algorithms for meta-analysis. The central goal of this project is therefore to construct a comprehensive, open and free data exchange ecosystem for cell migration data, based on the development of extensible community standards and a robust, future-proof repository that collects, annotates and disseminates these data in the standardized formats. The standards and repository will be supported by freely available and open source tools for data management, submission, extraction and analysis. Importantly, we will also demonstrate the application of large-scale integrative data analysis from cell migration studies through two proof-of-concept studies: guiding personalized cancer treatment from patient organoids, and providing patient-specific diagnosis based on peripheral blood leukocyte motility. This work will also establish the foundation for a cell migration science-based ELIXIR Node.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.05M | Year: 2012

PEPMIP represents a joint European effort involving eleven partners aimed at the development of the next generation of dedicated separation materials, designed to recognize peptides and proteins, and the implementation of these materials in new high performance methods for peptide and protein analysis. Artificial receptors will be developed by various Molecular Imprinting techniques. This will be supplemented by a new class of generic peptide and protein fractionation tools that will be integrated in new formats to produce new protein/peptide separation and detection solutions. The research results will lead to technological advances having a major impact on 1) health care since it will profit from methods involving PEPMIPs for earlier, more reliable diagnosis of diseases, 2) drug discovery allowing a faster target or biomarker identification; and 3) biochemistry research laboratories in resulting in improved protein fractionation tools for revealing low abundant post translational modifications. The training will focus on 10 early stage researchers (ESRs) who, within four work packages, will develop a well-balanced spectrum of scientific, business and entrepreneurial skills that will be particularly attractive to European industry when the ESRs eventually leave PEPMIP.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.43M | Year: 2012

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a highly aggressive, often lethal neuroendocrine cancer of the skin associated with the recently discovered, common Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV). With an incidence of 0.44 per 100,000 MCC is a very rare cancer. Notably, however, although MCC is 40 times less common than malignant melanoma, MCC has a dramatically higher mortality rate than melanoma rendering MCC to the most lethal skin cancer (37 versus 15 percent). This high mortality rate is largely due to the fact that to date none of the currently available therapeutic interventions is able to improve overall survival of patients suffering from metastatic disease. Consequently, new therapeutic strategies are needed for metastatic MCC. Since several lines of evidence indicate the outstanding immunogenicity of MCC, immune modulating treatment strategies are particularly attractive. IMMOMEC is a 5-year project to establish and investigate an innovative and effective immunotherapy for MCC, thus directly responding to the aims of the topic HEALTH-2011.2.4.1-1 Investigator-driven treatment trials for rare cancers. IMMOMEC will develop a rational immune therapeutic approach for treatment of patients with MCC that is based on the targeted delivery of interleukin-2 to the tumor microenvironment. However, IMMOMEC will not only provide a new therapeutic option for MCC patients, but will also establish the relevance of immune modulating strategies to treat solid cancers in general, establish and validate new tools to monitor patients receiving such therapies as well as compile prognostic and predictive biomarkers to individualize immune modulating therapies. Moreover, IMMOMEC will introduce a new immune modulating therapeutic produced by a European SME, which also holds the intellectual property rights. Objectives of IMMOMEC: I. Establish an effective therapy for Merkel cell carcinoma evaluated in a multicentre randomized clinical phase II trial II. Establish the feasibility of effective immunotherapy for solid cancers III. Identification and characterization of HLA-restricted immunodominant T cell epitopes specific for MCC to monitor the immune modulating effect and to develop specific therapeutics IV. Identification of prognostic and predictive biomarkers, i.e. search for markers foretelling the course of disease or treatment response in MCC, respectively V. Establish a European network for research and therapy of MCC

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