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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.01M | Year: 2012

The Marie Curie ITN Cancer Diagnostics: Parallel Sensing of Prostate Cancer Biomarkers (PROSENSE) aims at training a new generation of young scientists in the interdisciplinary techniques and methods required to meet the major challenges in the development of diagnostic tools for prostate cancer. It will bring together training by experts from the biosensor technology area and those from life sciences and medicine that work on cancer biomarker research. PROSENSE is a coordinated research training network involving university groups, R&D sections of small and medium enterprises, research institutes, hospitals and the R&D section of a large enterprise from the biomedical field. PROSENSE is a unique programme bringing together training across disciplines and across sectors, complemented by researcher career development tools. The scientific aspects of PROSENSE are centred around the themes of: 1) Development and study of biomarkers; 2) Detection techniques development; 3) Probe immobilisation and characterisation; 4) System integration and validation. A full programme of cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral secondments, traning and events will enable PROSENSE to promote interaction, knowledge exchange and collaboration in the multidisciplinary field of biosensor design with the aim of developing improved devices for prostate cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatments. It will increase understanding of clinical relevance of prostate cancer biomarkers and elucidate how the concurrent analysis of biomarkers can inform therapy; improve sensitivity, selectivity, robustness and speed of biosensing technologies for the simultaneous screening of biomarkers; develop lab-on-a-chip devices requiring minute amounts of clinical samples and increase likelihood of viable fit-for-purpose prostate cancer biosensing products.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-4 | Award Amount: 4.78M | Year: 2011

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection affects 350 million people worldwide and 25-30% of these individuals will die as a result of their infection mainly as a results of hepatocellular carcinoma HCC. Liver cirrhosis, high viral load and dietary exposure to aflatoxin are recognised as risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma amongst HBV carriers. However, these variables do not account for all cases of HCC and decompensated cirrhosis is rarely ever seen in West Africa suggesting that advanced liver fibrosis may not be an important risk factor in this population. A large case control study on HCC will be used to evaluate the importance of liver fibrosis and other established risk factors in West Africa and to explore other potential oncogenic determinants. The case-control study will generate serum, urine and DNA samples for proteomic, metabonomic and genomic analysis to identify biomarkers and aetiological agents for HCC. Effective treatment for HBV infection is now available in the developed world but treatment programmes have not been developed for resource poor settings even though some of the effective medication is now available at low cost for HIV management. A trial of HBV treatment in a group of carefully selected high risk patients will be conducted to demonstrate that the incidence of HCC can be reduced in this population as has been observed in Asian patients. The treatment trial will also be used to evaluate the efficacy of screening by ultrasound for early tumours which can be treated with percutaneous alcohol injection. This comprehensive programme therefore aims to reveal novel aetiological factors for HCC, identify and evaluate biomarkers and demonstrate the efficacy of selective antiviral therapy to prevent HCC

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