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A personalized way of fighting cancer
Cancer medication is expensive and only specific groups of patients respond to specific kinds of cancer medication. This is one of the major problems in the fight against cancer.
The four partners working together in this project aim to find a solution to this problem by creating an inventory of the activity of a certain kind of enzymes called kinases, that are crucial in specific forms of cancer. The results of this inventory coupled to patient groups classified by their response to different types of cancer medication can result in new ways for treating cancer. With knowledge of which patient and what form of cancer is receptive to what kinase inhibitor, a more personalized and effective treatment of cancer will be made possible.
Full project title: Identification of novel kinases involved in cancer-relevant processes
Start date: January 2007
End date: September 2011
Goal: to generate an inventory of the kinases active in specific forms of cancer, to help select cancer types on which clinical lead compounds should be used and to identify kinome alterations within the patient population that correlate with clinical outcome.
Principal investigator: Maikel Peppelenbosch, UMC Groningen
Project size: 3,7 FTE's
Partners: Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam), Pepscan Presto BV, University Medical Center Groningen, Utrecht University
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. It is a generic term for a large class of diseases all having one element in common: uncontrolled division (growth) of cells. In most cases a tumor develops, which is an abnormal growth of tissue resulting from the uncontrolled division of cells. This process may be started by external agents called carcinogens or inherited genetic factors. Carcinogens can be subdivided among physical, chemical and biological carcinogens. The most important carcinogen is tobacco smoke (chemical carcinogen), others include radiation (physical carcinogen) and infections from specific bacteria, parasites or viruses (biological carcinogens). Cancer may also be caused by random errors in DNA replication.
Cancer can affect any part of the body and the symptoms thus vary depending on the type of cancer. Most common, however, are lung, stomach, breast, colon and liver cancer. Parallel to the large variety of cancer types there is also a large variety of treatment types. The most occurring are chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Which method is chosen depends on the location and stage of the disease as well as the patient’s general health.